There needs to be a heavy outlay in the infrastructure sector

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Budget 2020_There needs to be a heavy outlay in the infrastructure sector
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There needs to be a heavy outlay in the infrastructure sector

27 Jan 2020

The nation should continue to explore new technologies that might serve our unique transportation needs in a faster and better manner, says Kshitish V Nadgauda, Senior Vice President and Managing Director-Asia, Louis Berger. He elaborates more on his expectations from Budget 2020 for the infrastructure segment. 

“There needs to be a heavy outlay in the infrastructure sector. The first and foremost reason is that the economic development and growth of the nation is heavily dependent on robust infrastructure. This includes transportation facilities, as well as utilities and services. There needs to be significant investment in the further development of top quality highways and expressways, bridges, mass transit facilities such as metro-rail networks, and high-speed rail to provide safe, fast and seamless connectivity between cities. In addition, there needs to be an investment in the development of new townships so that the continued migration into existing cities bursting at the seams will slow down. Major investment is required towards ensuring sanitation facilities in every town and village across the country, and the supply of potable water. The quality of life of the average citizen must be improved by leaps and bounds. The second reason for investing heavily in infrastructure is to boost the economy. Economic parameters over the past year have been disappointing. Investment in infrastructure will revive flagging businesses, generate employment, and provide a solid impetus to the economy.

The infrastructure needs of the country are so urgent that it is difficult to advise on staggering the investment. Our population centers such as the major cities are drivers of revenue. It is important therefore for investment to be made in the upgrading and development of urban infrastructure. Mass transit should be given a major thrust for cities to continue to flourish. Concurrently, new development nodes or townships should be set up to encourage decentralization away from existing cities that cannot cope with the continued influx of populations. Interconnectivity between cities and development nodes should be improved through high-quality road corridors and high-speed rail networks. The aviation sector should continue to be supported to ensure that the development spreads to all parts of the country. Integrated Housing and Slum Development, potable water supply, wastewater, and solid waste management schemes are critical for the improvement of the living conditions of urban India.

The nation should continue to explore new technologies that might serve our unique transportation needs in a faster and better manner. The one example that comes to mind is “Hyperloop” for safe, fast and efficient connectivity between cities. This is driven by private-sector investment and would go a long way towards boosting the economy. In addition, along with major infrastructure projects, the focus should also be on improving the Quality of Life of the average citizen through comfortable and safe transportation infrastructure, pleasant pedestrian facilities in cities, open spaces for recreational purposes in cities, potable drinking water, and sanitation facilities. The decision-makers should also look at an innovative, transparent and faster way of procurement so that precious time is not spent on the drawing board.”

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