An elephant does not know its own strength, likewise India does not know its potential and we may not have tapped one hundredth of our potential had the leadership, the bureaucracy, the scientists and technologists and the people worked in unison with total dedication and devotion, a different world would have emerged.
If we could emerge victorious in space technology and information technology, can’t we show the similar results in other fields, too?
Let us start from the base the development of our infrastructure is crying for expansion, fine-tuning and modernisation. We need good roads, better railways, airports, better road transport, metropolitan transport, reliable air travel services, good ports, telecommunications, power, planned urbanisation, housing and the like.
We can have the best of infrastructure right to the international standards. If we have the political will then such infrastructure should be the pride of every citizen, be he from the city or from a remote village.
Already, there is a sharp regional imbalance in infrastructure development and such a variation will perpetuate the backwardness of one region at the cost of development of the other.
Living with a rickety infrastructure is a nightmare for the poor citizen. Ever seen the plight of the millions of commuters in a megalopolis like Mumbai? Perhaps more than one fourth of their life is squandered in commuting between home and place of work.
In some of the big cities two or three hours of load shedding is the order of the day while the state electricity board lets millions of rupees go down the drain through pilferage and transmission losses. This year the Railways have earmarked a huge sum for railways safety in its budget for periodical maintenance and replacement which would save money and lives.
Our roads are in bad shape. They not only slow down fast moving traffic; but with potholes could also damage vehicles and take lives.
The less said the better in regard to the plight of our air passengers. Are they getting their money’s worth? Housing as population and cities grow, housing has become a hard nut to crack.
And what about components of social infrastructure like hospitals, schools and colleges, sanitation facilities and access to potable drinking water.
On an average, a middle class householder spends around Rs. 500 every month to buy drinking water in a city like Chennai. The conditions in most of the government hospitals across the country are going from bad to worse.
We are witnessing ill-maintained equipment, non-functional oxygen cylinder, non-functional operation theatres, striking doctors and para medical staff. The poor Patient has only two choices. Either dies in the hospital or stays alive for a little longer period and dies a peaceful death at home.
It was said of the AIIMS in Delhi people go there for treatment vertically (on their legs) and for the last rites. Five star hospitals have mushroomed in big cities, but they are beyond the reach of bulk of those who actually need emergency care.
Infrastructure does not mean the development of roads, rail and air traffic or development power aione. We have just dwelt on these sectors from the wider perspective of problems facing these sectors and the great promise they hold for expansion and modernisation through greater investment.
We can’t ignore any single component in either economic or social infrastructure. They are complementary in nature. Just take the example of drinking water facilities in all our major cities and one would find that we are still struggling to provide this basic minimum facility.
The same could be the case with housing, Medicare, sanitation and the like Disposal of sewage is as much a problem as disposal of solid wastes.
The development of infrastructure involves not only the government agencies, but the private sector, the NGOs and the people at large. The satisfaction of the minimum needs of the society becomes part of the larger concept of infrastructure development.
Pin Code Zones
Pin Code_________ State Covered_______
1. Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir
2. Uttar Pradesh and Uttranchal
3. Rajasthan, Gujrat, Daman Diu, Dadar Nagar Haveli
4. Maharashtra, Goa, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh
5. Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka
6. Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Lakshdweep
7. Bengal, Andman & Nicobar, Orissa, All Norh-East State.
8. Bihar and Jharkahand.
Transport and Trade Roads
• Total length of roads 2464900 Km.
• Only 45.7% of total roads are surface roads with Maharashtra having largest length of them.
• Maharashtra alone has 10.82% of total length of roads
• Roads in India can be classified into three categories: National Highway, Highways and village roads.
List of National Highways (NH)
N-HCoverage of Places
N-H-2Delhi-Kolkata (Via Agra, Mathura, Kanpur,
N-H-3Agra-Mumbai (via Gwalior, Nasik)
N-H-4Thane to Madras
N-H-6Dhuliyaganj-Kolkata (via Nagpur)
N-H-7Varanasi to Kanyakumari (via Rewa, Jabalpur,
Nagpur, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Salem, Madurai)
N-H-8Delhi-Mumbai (via Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Baroda)
N-H-24Delhi-Lucknow (via Bareilly)
Note— (i) Of all the National Highway N-H-7 is the largest.
(ii) M.P. has the largest length of National Highways.
About 13 million people on daily basis, travel through railway. Our railway locomotive system is of three types:
(i) Diesel locomotives of railway
(ii) Electric locomotives of railway
(iii) Steam engine locomotive of railway.
The highest density of railway/rail road per sq. km. of area in Punjab, Indian railway operate in three guages—Broad guage (1.676 m), Metre guage (1 metre) and narrow guage (0.762 metre). Indian Railway is divided into 16 zones.
Railaway Zones Headquarter
1. Central Victoria Terminal (Mumbai)
2. Eastern Kolkata
3. Northern New Delhi
4. North Eastern Gorakhpur
5. North East Frointier Malgaon (Guwahati)
6. Southern Chennai
7. South Central Secunderabad
8. South Eastern Kolkata
9. Western Mumbai-Church Gate
10. East Coast
11. East Central
12. North Central
13. North Western
14. South Western
15. West Central
16. Bilaspur Zone
Bhubneshwar Hajipur Allahabad Jaipur
Bangalore (Hubli) Jabalpur
There are three National water ways:
1. Mational water ways 1—The Allahabad-Haldia stretch of the Ganga Bhagirathi Hoogly river system (1620 km.).
2. National water ways 2—The Sadia Dhubri strech of the Brahmputra river system.
3. National water way 3—The Kottapuram to Kollem (West coast canal) along with Udagmandalam and Champakar canals.
Maharashtra has the largest number of minor sea ports (53) and Gujrat is on the second (40). Coal and petroleum product from the bulk of cargo
Ports on Eastern Coasts Ports on Westerm Coast
1. Kolkata (Bengal) 1. Kochi (Kerala)
2. Haldia (Bengal) 2. Mangalore (Karnataka)
3. Paradip (Orissa) 3. Mormugao (Goa)
4. Vishakhapatnam (AP) 4. JawaharLa! Nehru (Nhava Sheva)
5. Ennore (TN) 5. Mumbai (Maharashtra)
6. Tuticorin (TN) 6. Kandla (Gujrat)
The term is derived from the Latin word porta which means gateway. Thus, port is the gateway of a country because exports are sent out through out and imports are brought in through it. India’s biggest port is Mumbai.
Airports—there are 11 international airports and 112 domestic airports in the country.
Internationl Airports are:
1. Delhi Airport
2. Amritsar Airport
3. Guwahati Airport
4. Ahmedabad Airport
5. Mumbai Airport
6. Kolkata Airport
7. Panaji Airport
8. Bangalore Airport
9. Kochi Airport
10. Thiruvanantpuram Airport
II. Chennai Airport VOCABULARY