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What ails India's infrastructure? Kamal Nath explains

Last updated on: September 22, 2010 15:36 IST

What ails India's infrastructure? Kamal Nath explains

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Indrani Roy Mitra in Kolkata

While China builds for the future, India catches up with the past, said Kamal Nath, Minister of Road Transport and Highways, at the opening day of the two-day 37th National Management Convention held at the Oberoi Grand, Kolkata.

The minister was at his charismatic best as he explained in detail what needs to be done as far as India's infrastructure is concerned.

"We are building 20 km roads a day. But is this enough, this is a question we need to ask ourselves," the minister said.

"We have to ensure that we have aesthetically pleasing roads and more importantly, roads that are safe. We just can't afford to take chances with human lives," Nath added.

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Image: Kamal Nath, Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways at the AIMA meet in Kolkata.
Photographs: Dipak Chakraborty
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The minister stressed on the fact that a deficit infrastructure is a major challenge in India and it has to be addressed immediately.

"Let's not forget that a large aspirational society is driving the government. And at the moment, we are facing a challenge of addressing perfectionism and not globalisation."

"In 1993, when India attended the Economic Forum, it was looked down upon as a country of snakes and tigers and backward economy. Not any more. Now the shoe is on the other foot. India is a major economy now," Nath said.

"However, we can't overlook the fact that a lack of infrastructure is often marring our achievements and dogging our paths. This can't go on."

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Speaking about the world economic crisis, the minister said, "The crisis occurred only on both sides of the Atlantic. There was no crisis in China or in India. That is a very encouraging sign. India has attained a prominent place in the global economic architecture. However, let's not be complacent."

Admitting that India 'moves' with a slow pace, the minister said, "The sluggishness is an innate quality with us as we have just completed one set of reforms. What we need now is a thorough set of reforms in governance."

Commenting that a 9 per cent growth in gross domestic product has different connotation for different people, the minister said, "Challenge in India is not to sustain the growth but to manage it well to achieve an all-inclusive prosperity.

Let's not forget, this is India's century and we need to be more efficient to compete with the rest of the world," the minister signed off.


Image: Pillars of Delhi Metro collapses.
Photographs: Reuters
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