The paper explores the concept of the relationship that exists between the infrastructure layout and economic growth, with India, developing nation of South Asia, as the country of interest. The poverty persistence in India reflects limited access to good infrastructural facilities. However, the paper concludes by emphasizing the need for implementation of infrastructure development policies in the country by specifying strategies in management based technology, capacity building in the construction sector, and effective resources utilization at the government level. Keywords: Management, Planning, Capacity Building, Infrastructure, Sustainable Development, Policy implementation
Infrastructure is the basic structure required for the progress of an operation. Also, infrastructure refers to livelihood supportive structures such as roads, power, water, and sewers. However, infrastructure is the key determinant to the economic growth of a country. Poor infrastructure layout leads to poor economic growth of a nation hence low living standards of the citizens. India is a country which has large population size which makes it strenuous for the government to meet the required infrastructural facilities to cater for the population thus majority of citizens live in poor conditions.
Infrastructure in India
India is one of the largest nations in Asia. In India, dualism have taken place in the governance structure thus some parts are more developed as compared to others, and so major destinations of the country such as Bangalore or Delhi can be considered separately from other remote areas especially those some areas in central India. In those remote areas majority of citizens live in poverty whereby there is poor water and power supply, poor education and health facilities and above all government attention to the regions is also poor (Ranade, 2009).
Power Supply in India
India's power grid is overstressed by the large population of the country. This is a clear indicator of lagging development of infrastructure in the country whereby day to day power failures is a norm. This makes it hard for consistent production activities in the country to be taking place. This is a disadvantage to the economy since investors are forced to consider other countries whereby these problems are not experienced. In a situation like this, the cost of production shoots up because of high production cost since alternative expensive sources of power are used during production.
However, power supply in a country is a basic determinant to the cost of products produced. Poor power supply implies that organizations use other alternatives such as diesel power which is more expensive as compared to the power from national grid. The high cost incurred is forwarded to the price of the products, so produced, in the market. Therefore, the burden falls on the shoulders of the consumer. Thus, the poor power supply accelerates the increase of poverty level in the country as it is the condition in India.
Transport Networks in India
India's transport network is considered to be one of the poorest in the world. It is unfortunate that upon the landing of a visitor in India, airport is the first poor infrastructure that a visitor sees which needs extensive improvement. That implies poor air transport network which is key to the exportation of horticultural products. However, poor air transport leads to decrease of investors in the country who evades high costs of transporting their products to the international markets. Therefore this is a disadvantage to the growth of economy of India which then makes it hard for the country to become globally competitive nation.
Also, road network in India is also a challenge to the investors. Most of the roads especially in the central regions of then country are poorly maintained which make it costly for transportation of goods produced in the region. The production sector incur double challenges because of poor roads in India since most of the factories use local raw materials which have to be transported form the point of production to the factory by road and also the transportation of finished products is also done by road. The double added transportation cost is forwarded to the price of finished products in the market. Moreover, poor roads accelerates the depreciation of vehicles used to transport goods hence investors incur huge losses in the maintenance costs of these vehicles (Nation, 2005).
Moreover, railway network in India covers a small region of the country. This is true when looked at in geographical size perspective thus only a few investors who benefit from rail services when transporting their products. In addition, the railways are also in poor conditions implying that government gives lees attention to rail transport service. This is evident from reported rail accidents in India in the recent past. Therefore, railway transport in India is considered not perfectly safe for transportation by investors.
In addition, Water transportation in India is also poorer as compared to other nations of then region. Poor water transport infrastructure of India is reflected by the congestion of cargo containers in the ports and harbors of the country. Therefore water transport of India is considered to be not reliable in transportation of finished delicate products which could go bad fast. This congestion in the ports and harbors cause delay to goods and finally late arrivals to the international markets.
However, in terms of transport network, Indian investors experiences huge losses in transportation activities of goods. This has made many investors shutting down their businesses in India and moving to other nations with better business environments. This is a disadvantage to the economy of India and overall living standards of citizens. Furthermore, India can never become a global competitive nation if transport network is not given attention it deserves early enough. Therefore good transport network is the key to acquiring sustainable development since it will attract investors.
Water supply in India
India's large size of population does not have access to fresh water. Some factors have been in rise in the country and they are likely to lead to a situation of severe shortage of water in the country. Amongst those factors is the rising industrialization campaign of steel industries which use a lot of freshwater in their production processes. A large part of the country falls within climatic conditions thus majority population depend on the water supply as the main source of water.
In addition, the available sources of fresh water have been polluted by human activities such as encroachment to water sources. Most industries direct their waste waters to the sources of water such as fresh water rivers and lakes thus causing pollution to the water which is majority lives depend on. This has a negative impact to the health sector which campaign against water pollution using government resources. However, this has a negative impact to the economic growth of India because it is an additional cost which can easily be evaded.
Water supply goes hard in hard with the health facilities. Access to clean waters reduces chances of the breakouts of waterborne diseases which are expensive to contain. Water is a crucial commodity to the economic growth. Sufficient water supply in the country can save a country lump sum spent by the government in additional expenses such as cost on relief foods since citizens will do farming activities to ensure enough food supply to the citizens. Indian government has failed to ensure that water supply is well put in place so as to cater for the majority of its population thus its economic growth does not meet the required global competition level.
Education Facilities in India
The education sector of India is overstretched by the large size of population thus it has not met international standards. Majority of population in the economy are illiterate especially in the central regions of India. High illiteracy levels leads to poor economic growth of a country since majority of the population dwell in human activities which have less impact to the development of the countries economy. In India, education facilities are expensive to access thus majority poor people end up not educating their children because they cannot meet high cost (Research, 2007).
Heath Facilities in India
Health services in India do not meet the required level of satisfaction to the citizens. This is because of the high population which overstretches government capability to cater for its citizens. The few health facilities which meet the global health facility requirements offer health services at a higher cost than an average citizen can afford. However, majority of the poor persons sought traditional methods of acquiring health services because of the high cost of the service from the public facilities. This implies that Indian government has neglected the sector for a long time and is now in urgent need of close attention from the government so as to cater for the large population of the country.
Communication Facilities in India
Communication facilities in India are costly above the reach of majority poor people in India. For instance, mobile phone operators in the country charge high costs for their products thus poor persons cannot access the services. Other communication facilities such as Internet service in the country is also not well implemented though the high illiteracy level is the major cause of the challenge. Also, the poor living standards of the majority of people force some people to vandalize communication facilities which make investors to charge high costs in their products of communication sector (Network, 2008).
In conclusion, the government of India needs to embark on the development strategies of the country. However, some of the basic strategies include, implementation of the policy of capacity building in the construction of important facilities such as water supply facilities. This would be of great help in improving the living standards of the majority citizens. Power supply is an important factor to the determination of the prices of the products produced by an investor thus the government should ensure that investors can access power form national grid at low costs so as to improve the living standards of the citizens.
In addition, good planning and management of public resources is a determinant to the growth of a country. Indian government is one of the most corrupt in the world since many public officers use their influence to acquire favor by use of public resources. However, government should ensure that it implements measures which would curb corruption so as to the country can acquire sustainable development.