ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

A+| A| A-

Transport Policy for the 21st Century

A high-level committee on transport suggests a different approach to making policy.

For the first time since 1980, the Government of India has before it the recommendations of an expert group on a long-term transport policy. Four years after it was constituted, the National Transport Development Policy Committee (NTDPC), headed by Rakesh Mohan, currently executive director for India at the International Monetary Fund, has submitted its report. The NTDPC was given a mandate to outline the conditions for a coherent transport strategy over a long-term horizon stretching up to 2032. Given the importance of infrastructure in general and transport infrastructure in particular in driving the growth of the economy, many reports on this sector have been produced in the last few years. While the NTDPC report does, like the others, deal with meeting the needs of the expected increase in passenger and freight traffic, it addresses four important aspects that have been ignored in past reports and policy documents.

First, as the committee notes, thinking on transport in India has been project-centric, with analysis and estimates produced for sectoral improvements, treating rail, road, water and aviation in isolation. The NTDPC, however, attempts a systemic approach. The importance of creating a “system” of transport services is highlighted, a system that covers infrastructure, regulation, financing options and service delivery mechanisms (institutions). A major institutional restructuring that the NTDPC suggests is the creation of a unified ministry of transport that can enable intermodal systems and rational allocation of resources to promote inter-modality among rail, road, water transport and civil aviation. The report notes that while in India there is a “division of different transport modes between ministries at the national level”, in most other large countries of the world there is a single “Ministry of Transport or (a) similar integrated equivalent”. In order to support the unified transport ministry, the NTDPC recommends establishing a national “Office of Transport Strategy” to host data and technical expertise for developing, monitoring and refining long-range strategies for transport, with a permanent secretariat, budget and ability to generate data.

Dear Reader,

To continue reading, become a subscriber.

Explore our attractive subscription offers.

Click here

Back to Top