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3 Mar, 2014

FREE Download: India publishes National Transport Development Report to 2032


New Delhi, (2 March 2014) Press Information Bureau — The High Level National Transport Development Policy Committee (NTDPC), chaired by Dr. Rakesh Mohan, former Deputy Governor, RBI, emphasises the need for modernisation and expansion of all segments of the transport system. The Report is to be presented to the Prime Minister Dr.Manmohan Singh on March 3.

The Report sets the conditions for a coherent system based transport strategy for the two decades beginning with the 12th Five Year Plan to the end of the 15th Five Year Plan. The Report represents new thinking on how to look at different sectors in an integrated fashion and suggests mechanisms and measures for carrying this approach forward in a manner that reduces the resource costs involved.

To enable sustained high economic growth over the next two decades, investment in transport would need to increase from the current about 2.6 per cent of GDP to about 3.3 per cent in the 12th Plan, and then stabilise at about 3.7 per cent of GDP until 2032. Based on the macro modelling framework utilised, the projections envisage that with appropriate economic pricing and adequate regulation, sustainability can be achieved in the transport sector; and resources can be attracted from both private and public sectors. Moreover, the resource projections suggest that the country can become more ambitious in transport projects in the 13th Plan and beyond.

The NTDPC was set up in 2010 to assess the transport requirements of the economy for the next two decades in the context of the changes in economic, demographic and technological trends expected at local, national and global levels; and to recommend a comprehensive and sustainable policy for meeting such requirements.

The Committee comprised of Secretaries of central ministries, private sector representatives, and eminent persons/experts from the transport sector. The Committee held consultations with State Governments in 2012-13 and also received technical assistance from the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank in its work. The Interim Report of the Committee was earlier submitted to the Government in April, 2012.

While the Report addresses sectoral issues in detail, it addresses a number of wider issues that affect the transport system as a whole. Its focus is on cross-cutting themes underlying transport strategy and the resulting investment programmes. It is not so much about specific solutions, as it is about developing human resource capacity, and developing responsive institutions for achieving the overall strategy and outcomes envisaged.

One of the significant findings of the Committee is that there is lack of expertise within the whole transport system: from policy making to designing and execution. The Report thus focuses specific attention on developing research and human resource capacity at all levels, and developing responsive institutions for achieving the overall strategy and outcomes envisaged. It also proposes reform measures in regulation, rationalisation of fiscal regimes and embedding safety concerns in all transport planning and execution.

Taking note of the weak institutional framework for policy, planning and coordination in transport at the central and state levels the Report argues for decentralised coordination keeping in view the federal nature of the country. To this end, the Report advocates re-aligning transport governance and proposes establishment of Offices of Transport Strategy at the national and state level within the 12th Plan period. The Report also recommends a unified Ministry of Transport at the centre, with similar merger of transport functions at the state level. At the metropolitan city level it advocates the formation of Metropolitan Urban Transport authorities. These institutions should be embedded with adequate technocratic capacity in both quality and quantity.

In its vision for a modern transport system for the country, the Report also takes cognizance of the probable growth rate of energy usage in transportation and its impact on environment, and has made several recommendations with regard to policy on emissions standards, pollution control, use of information and communication technology, and advocates a Life Cycle Analysis approach to transport planning. With regard to transportation of energy commodities, which is a greater challenge to the economy, the recommendations include concentration of investment in railways and proactive action in port development, including coastal shipping. The Report has devoted exclusive chapters for Transport Development in the North East and another on Promoting International Connectivity between India and the South and South East Asia regions.

While the main section of this Report looks at these broader systemic issues and makes recommendations on how to achieve these goals, the second section, looks at specific sectors, and what needs to be done to take these to the next stage of development commensurate with India’s aspirations as a nation. These are: Railways; Road and Road Transport; Civil Aviation; Ports and Shipping; Urban Transport.

The Executive Summary and the full report of the High Level Committee on National Transport Development Policy can be accessed free of charge here: