The scenario of road development in India
Being the second largest country in the world in terms of population alone, it may come as no surprise to learn that India also has the second largest road network in the world. The road network of this country mimics the veins and arteries, not only because of how common road transport is but also because they are vital for day to day functioning. The roads are our primary means of transport with almost 90
% of Indians using the road network to travel and commute, and 65
% of the goods transported and moved around in the country are done by road. This network consists of national highways, state highways, rural roads and major district roads. Village and state roads are included in this as well.
With such a heavy reliance on the road network, and how easily accessible it is to travel to and fro by road, let’s talk about the landscape of road development and general infrastructure in India. India is one of the largest and fastest growing economies in the world ever since the liberalisation of the economy in the 90s. Individual incomes and savings have been growing vastly since the last 2 decades. In order to keep up with this rapid growth, we need to maintain and strengthen the infrastructure that supports this country. Here’s what we know:
Even though the road network is the most prevalent and reliable system - the transportation of goods can be quite costly and slow. It sometimes takes almost 2 weeks to transport a container from Mumbai to Delhi.
In a country the size of India, investments in the building and construction sector are remarkably low, resulting in shabby and wobbly infrastructure. Other Asian countries have a higher percentage of investments in their infrastructure.
As of 2018, out of 199 countries, India ranked first when it comes to the number of deaths reported due to road accidents, that makes it a whopping 11
% of accidents related to death in the entire world.
Road environment, human error and vehicle condition are the three key factors that contribute to such a high number of road accidents in India.
Taking a cursory glance at the scenario of how the road networks in India function may leave us a little hopeless about the future of road infrastructure in India. But there are many initiatives taken on by the government and private manufacturers to ensure that the scaffolding of our country is strong enough to support its magnanimous growth. Here are a few:
1. Because of the latent but significant boom in the construction equipment industry post pandemic - manufacturers are producing smarter and more reliable pieces of equipment like road grader machines, construction excavators, rock breaker machines etc that are relevant to the Indian climate.
Manufacturers in India realized soon enough that large and expensive imported road grader machines do not work efficiently when it comes to building Indian roads. Designed with extensive research, keeping Indian roads in mind and with consultation from contractors based in India, Mahindra launched The Roadmaster G75 which is the perfect road grader for grading, spreading and flattening of earth materials to create the perfect foundation for building roads.
Construction excavators, backhoe loaders and rock breaker machines use hydraulic systems that provide better speed and performance due to lesser losses because of pressure and increased flow-handling capacity. Rock breaker machines are used for larger projects where jackhammers will not work. It is a flexible tool that can be both stationary and mobile. Manufacturers are now producing rock breaker machines with more versatility when it comes to sizes, weight and usage to suit every need of the project at hand.e
2. Despite the national lockdowns, India has managed to construct 13,298kms of highways in the financial year 2021. Between FY2017 and FY2021, we have seen a 17
% increase in the compound annual growth rate for highway constructions.
3. To safeguard development in the future, the government has allocated Rs. 111 lakh crores for the National Infrastructure Pipeline for 2019 - 2025.
While working on policies that incite large scale investments, the government believes that by 2022, 2,00,000kms of national highways will be constructed. It is still a work in progress, but construction equipment manufacturers and government initiatives and policies are ensuring that the future of development of roads in India is safeguarded.