INDIA: To catch up to its geopolitical competitor China, India has opened the first phase of its longest expressway, a route connecting Delhi and Mumbai.
The $13 billion (£10.8 billion) project will eventually reduce the distance between the two largest cities in the nation by half to 12 hours.
India’s infrastructure is decades behind its northern neighbour’s, despite the fact that it is the world’s fastest-growing major economy and will soon be acknowledged as its most populous country.
“Welcome to the Delhi-Vadodara-Mumbai expressway,” a 1,386-kilometer route, was announced via a sign over one of the new four-lane highways (861 miles).
Prime Minister Narendra Modi officially opened the 246-kilometre first section, which connects the capital with the tourist destination of Jaipur in Rajasthan. Adding that “such investments in railways, highways, subway lines, and airports are key to pushing the country’s growth rate, attracting more investments, and creating fresh jobs,” he said. He also called it a “symbol of developing India.”
He said the expressway will benefit the Sariska National Park, Keoladeo National Park, Ranthambore National Park as well as cities such as Jaipur and Ajmer. Rajasthan is already known for its tourism sector and the attraction will increase further with the new infrastructure project, the Prime Minister said.
Since a deadly military conflict on their border with Ladakh in 2020, the third-largest economy in Asia has been working harder than ever to build up its economy and get away from China’s supply lines.
Numerous significant projects have been accelerated in New Delhi, and last month the Modi administration promised an extraordinary 33% increase in infrastructure investment. Modi is expected to open at least a dozen important trains, roads, expressways, and ports in the next few months.
With 1.3 million employees and one of the largest rail networks in the world, India has to invest heavily in track and rolling stock. To do this, the government is looking to raise private financing.
Beijing has spent hundreds of billions of dollars on infrastructure over many years. As a result, China now has the best high-speed rail network in the world and most highways and airports.
The construction of India’s first high-speed rail line, a $13 billion Japanese-funded undertaking between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, is still ongoing but needs to be improved due to delays in land acquisition and other administrative processes.
Also Read: Delhi-Mumbai Expressway: PM Modi to Inaugurate the Time-Saving Sohna-Dausa Highway