Article by Vijay Pal Dalmia, Advocate, Supreme Court of India and Delhi High Court, Partner & Head of Intellectual Property Laws Division, Vaish Associates Advocates, India


Indian roads have grown rapidly. Ranging from the cross-country link of the national highways to the roads in the deepest interiors, India, by the year 2018 had a road network of more than 5.96 million kms1 comprising National Highways, Expressways, State Highways, Major District Roads, Other District Roads and Village Roads. National highways that are the prime arterial routes, which spans about 1.32 lakhs (approx.) kms throughout the country as on

01.03.20192, catering to about 40% (forty percent) of the total road-transport traffic.3 Recently, reforms have been initiated to improve and modernise roads.

The Government in the year 2015 launched ?Bharatmala Pariyojana? as an umbrella program for the highways sector that focuses on optimising efficiency of freight and passenger movement across the country. The program contemplates construction of 24,800 KM in Phase 1, which is to be implemented over a period of five years, i.e., 2017-18 to 2021-22. According to government reports, this umbrella program will help in bridging critical infrastructure gaps through effective interventions like development of Economic Corridors, Inter Corridors and Feeder Routes, National Corridor Efficiency Improvement, Border and International connectivity roads, Coastal and Port connectivity roads and Green-field expressways. Under Bharatmala Pariyojana.4, a total 40,870 KM of road network has been constructed out of the targeted road network of 54,478 KM.


Indian Railways, one of the largest rail networks in the world, is in the process of upgrading itself with the latest technology by introducing high-speed bullet trains and converting metre gauge lines in the country with broad gauge. Stainless steel coaches are being installed in premier carriers. Improved ventilation and illumination are part of the new scheme of things, along with the decision to install air brake systems on all coaches. Ambitious Dedicated Freight Corridors projects are being undertaken.

The Indian Railways quadrilateral linking the four metropolitan cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Howrah, commonly known as the Golden Quadrilateral; and its two diagonals (Delhi-Chennai and Mumbai-Howrah), adding up to a total route length of 10,122 km carries 58% (fifty eight percent)5 of revenue earning freight traffic of Indian Railways. The existing trunk routes of Howrah-Delhi on the Eastern Corridor and Mumbai-Delhi on the Western Corridor are highly saturated, line capacity utilisation varying between 115% (one hundred fifteen percent) and 150% (one hundred fifty percent). The surging surging power needs requiring heavy coal movement, booming infrastructure construction and growing international trade has led to the conception of the Dedicated Freight Corridors along the Eastern and Western Routes.

Dedicated Freight Corridor Corp. of India Ltd (DFCCIL), is already building the first two freight corridors—Eastern Freight Corridor from Ludhiana to Dankuni (1,856km) and Western Freight Corridor from Dadri to Jawaharlal Nehru Port (1,504km)—at a total cost of Rs. 81,000 crore (US$ 11.59 billion).6 The Dedicated Freight Corridors will adopt world class and state-of-the-art technology. Significant improvement is proposed to be made in the existing carrying capacity by modifying basic design features. The permanent way will be constructed with significantly higher design features that will enable it to withstand heavier loads at higher speeds. Simultaneously, in order to optimise productive use of the right of way, dimensions of the rolling stock are proposed to be enlarged. Both these improvements will allow longer and heavier trains to ply on the Dedicated Freight Corridors.

It is pertinent to note that National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited is implementing the project of high speed train corridor between Ahmedabad and Mumbai the total length of which works out to be 508.17 kms. The proposed corridor lies in Western Railway zone and shall commence from Bandra Kurla Complex in Mumbai and terminate near Sabarmati Railway Station in Ahmedabad.


Ports are the main gateways for trade. Presently, in India, about 95% (ninety- five percent) of the trade by quantity and 70% (seventy percent) by value takes place through ports.7 There are 12 major ports and about 205 minor and intermediate ports in India. The major ports are managed by port trusts that are regulated by the Central Government. They come under the purview of the Major Port Trusts Act, 1963. The minor ports are regulated by the respective State Governments and many of these ports are private or captive ports. India is also among the few countries that offer fair and free competition to all shipping companies for obtaining cargo.

Inland Waterways

India has an extensive network of inland waterways in the form of rivers, canals, backwaters and streams. The total navigable length of important rivers as on date, is about 14,500 kms.8 The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) is the statutory authority in charge of the waterways in India, which provides for the necessary infrastructure in these waterways, surveys the economic feasibility of new projects and also administers and regulates projects. The natural advantage of a vast coastline requires India to use sea transport for the bulk movement of cargo.

The Indian shipping industry, major ports, national highways and water transport are increasingly being thrown open to the private sector.

Indian Airways

India's booming economy has created a large middle-class population. Rapid economic growth has made air travel much more affordable. India's air transport network has attracted heavy investments in the past few years. In the recent years, more than half a dozen low-cost carriers have entered the Indian air landscape to meet the rapidly, increasing demand for air travel. In all, there are more than 20 international airports located within the country.

Electricity Sector

The electricity sector in India is predominantly controlled by the Government of India's Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs). Major PSUs are involved in the generation of electricity; however, transmission and distribution is managed by the State Electricity Boards (SEBs) and private companies. At present, 62.2% of the electricity consumed in India is generated by thermal power, 12.3% by hydro- electricity and 1.8% by nuclear power. India's high economic development has created a surge in the demand for electricity. The figures under each heading need to be updated.

Telecom Services

Telecom services have been recognised the world over as an important tool for the socio-economic development of a nation. Hence, telecom infrastructure is treated as a crucial factor to realise the socio-economic objectives in India. A large population, and rise in consumer income and spending owing to strong economic growth have contributed to making India the fastest-growing telecom market in the world. India is currently the world's second-largest telecommunications market with a subscriber base of 1189.28 million (of which mobile telephone connections are 1168.32 million and landline telephone connections are 20.96 million). The overall tele density in the country is 90.23%. While the rural tele density is currently 57.01%, the urban tele density stands at 160.87% at the end of July, 20199.

As on May 31, 202010 India has total of 1163.67 million subscribers. TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) is in the process of formulating the New Telecom Policy which is presently being contemplated to be released this year.

Through the new Telecom Policy, Government of India will address many issued relating to regulatory & licensing frameworks, connectivity for all, quality of services, ease of doing business and introduction of New Technologies including 5G, etc.


1. Economic Survey 2019-20

2. Economic Survey 2019-20







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Vijay Pal Dalmia, Advocate

Supreme Court of India & Delhi High Court

Email id:

Mobile No.: +91 9810081079



Twitter: @vpdalmia

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