The Bharatiya Janata Party plans to focus on creating robust infrastructure in order to drive growth if voted to power.
According to the party’s election manifesto 2014, which was released on April 7, the creation of infrastructure led to growth in various sectors including cement, steel and power, and also increased job opportunities.
Taking into consideration the country’s growing population as well as social and economic activities, infrastructure needed to be built keeping in view the requirements of the future, the manifesto said.
Elaborating on the vision for achieving the objective of creating robust infrastructure, the manifesto said that a BJP government at the Centre would speed up work on the freight corridors and attendant industrial corridors to ensure faster movement of people and goods, connect remote states such as Jammu and Kashmir and those in the northeast with the rest of the country through highways and rail lines, expedite national highway projects, particularly along the borders and coasts, and connect every village through all-weather roads.
The manifesto also laid stress on airport development. It said that in addition to modernising existing and operational airports, new ones would be built to connect small towns and tourism circuits. Pointing out that there was potential for inland air transportation to connect remote and local destinations, it said that air strips would be developed to enable low cost air travel within the country.
With regard to development of ports in the country, the manifesto said the existing ports would be modernised and new ones developed, stringing together the Sagar Mala project.
On the transport front, the manifesto said a number of measures would be initiated to facilitate travel within the country so as to ensure vibrancy of the economy and social unity. The measures listed include creation of a public transport system to reduce dependence on personal vehicles, launching of an integrated public transport project that would include roadways, railways and waterways, developing waterways for passenger and cargo transport and developing a national logistics network for faster movement of goods. It further committed to modernise, strengthen and upgrade the Indian Railways in a planned manner based on national development rather than political exigency.
On the issue of the country’s growing energy requirements and the need to achieve energy security, the manifesto said the party would come out with a comprehensive National Energy Policy, focus on development of energy infrastructure as well as human resource development and technology upgradation and take steps to maximise the potential of oil, gas, hydel power, ocean, wind, coal and nuclear sources. It further assured that steps would be initiated to increase domestic coal exploration and production and expedite oil and gas explorations. In addition, renewable sources of energy would receive a thrust and the National Solar Mission expanded and strengthened.
Under next generation infrastructure development, the manifesto committed to setting up gas grids to make gas available to households and industry, a national optical fibre network up to the village level, and Wi-Fi zones in public areas. Advanced satellite technology would be harnessed for development, it said.
The manifesto stressed on the need to tap into the resources and expertise of the private sector for infrastructure creation. It said that the Public Private Partnership model would be encouraged and an institutional framework established for the same.