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Gist of Rakesh Mohan Committee Report on Transport Development Policy
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Tuesday, 01 April 2014 06:18


Gist of Rakesh Mohan Committee Report on Transport Development Policy

Following are some of the findings and recommendations contained in the Report of the National Transport Development Policy Committee

NTDPC’s Approach

Prior thinking on transport policy in India has been too project-centric.

Coherent system-based strategy adopted in the Report cuts across modes of transport, administrative geographies, and integrates capital investment with regulatory and policy development.

Intermodal linkage between the different transport systems.

There is less of a focus on specific solutions, and more on developing human resources capacity and responsible institutions that can adapt to changing realities.

Hitherto, transport policy did not focus enough on connectivity with other countries, and in border areas and the current Report highlights the significance of promoting connectivity within South and South East Asia regions.

Special attention is also given to the transport needs of the North-East

Trends in Growth of Transport

Freight Transport is projected to grow 6 to 7 times, and passenger traffic about 15-16 times over the next two decades, with the assumption of resumption of rapid economic growth of 7 to 9 percent per annum.

Railways and roads constitute the major chunk in the total transport spending. The share of modes other than railways and roads, which was around 15 per cent of total expenditure on transport in the first three Plans, escalated to 30 per cent in the Fourth and Fifth Plans, only to settle down at about 28 per cent in the Tenth plan and Eleventh Plan.

In the last decade, the civil aviation sector has grown at a phenomenal pace, and India has emerged as the world’s ninth largest civil aviation market.  The air traffic density (1000 passengers per million urban population) in India is very low at 72. China (282) is four times higher; Brazil (231) three times; Malaysia (1,225) 17 times, USA (2,896) 40 times, and Sri Lanka (530) more than seven times higher.

The performance of Indian ports has generally deteriorated over the years except for a brief period from the late 1990s to the mid 2000s. The gap between the growth in traffic and growth of port capacity is apparently widening. Port traffic is expected to grow by about 40 per cent from the current 914 million tonnes to about 1,279 million tonnes by the end of the 12th Plan. Thus, rapid upscaling of port capacities and commensurate financing is urgently required.

As regards Shipping, in 1990, the Indian fleet’s share was as high as 35.5 per cent of the overseas trade, and the balance was carried by foreign vessels. But by 2011-12, the Indian flag share was only 10.9 per cent.

Inland waterways in India are underdeveloped as a mode of transportation, despite their inherent advantages of fuel efficiency, environment friendliness, hinterland connectivity to less developed rural regions, and its capacity to shift large volumes of cargo from congested roads

India’s transport networks are severely constrained for capacity. India must adopt a holistic approach in designing integrated transport networks, and with substantial logistics infrastructure yet to be built, India can still make amends to reach a more desirable and efficient state for its transport system.

While retaining the role for the government in infrastructure funding, there is a logical need for stepping up private investment to both fill the investment gap and also allow increased flow of public investment in perhaps commercially unviable but economically and socially important investment decisions.

Overall Investment in Transport

If the country is to maintain a sustained high growth path over the next 20 years, a new thrust for more investment in overall infrastructure is inevitable.  Fastest growing countries in Asia have consistently invested around 8-10 per cent of their GDP in infrastructure during their high growth period.

Sustainability of high economic growth would require continuing high growth of exports of goods and services which in turn is dependent on best transport connectivity and linkages.

NTDPC projections suggest that it should be feasible to raise adequate financing for transport investment from both domestic and foreign sources. Public sector investment will remain important and around 70 percent of public sector investment would need to come from central and state budgetary sources.

NTDPC therefore recommends that the overall investment in infrastructure should increase from an expected 7 percent of GDP in the 12th Plan to 8.1 percent in the subsequent 3 Plans till 2032. Public sector investment in infrastructure should rise marginally, from 4 per cent of GDP during the 12th Plan to 4.3 to 4.5 per cent in the next three Plans, and private sector investment from 3 percent to 3.7  percent over the same periods.

Annual Investments in transport should increase from Rs. 2.2 trillion ($45 billion) in 2011-12 to Rs. 3.8 trillion ($70 billion) during the 12th Plan, and rise further to about Rs. 14 trillion ($250 billion) in the 15thPlan period (2027-2032). This implies an increase in investment from about 2.7 percent of GDP in the 11th Plan to 3.3 percent in the 12th Plan, and further to 3.7 percent in later Plan periods.

In order to arrest the significant erosion of Railways in its share of traffic there is need for a shift in emphasis toward greater investment in railways. Annual investment in railways should increase from Rs. 300 billion ($6.5 billion) in 2011-12 to Rs. 900 billion ($17 billion) during the 12th Plan, and rising to Rs. 4.6 trillion ($85 billion) in the 15th Plan period. This implies an increase from about 0.4 percent of GDP during the 11th Plan to about 0.7 percent in the 12th Plan, and further to 1.0-1.1 percent in the following Plan periods.

Strategy

Government must adopt an integrated transport strategy guided by drivers such as long-term and largely irreversible nature; their far-reaching, game-changing effects on the economy and so on transport; their indifference to business cycles; and their relative immunity to financial and economic shocks.

The overall aim of the integrated strategy should be to uncover an optimal modal mix that reflects the full resource costs of each transport mode for each type of commodity transported over various distances and terrains.

Pricing in the transport sector should conform closely to the cost of services and actual resources used in its production, having regard to scarcity values of these inputs. Subsidies should be limited to those areas where their retention on societal considerations is overwhelmingly justified and must be made as explicit as possible so that they are clearly identifiable to ensure transparency.

Other recommendations, inter alia, include

Provisions in the Motor Vehicles Act (1988, as amended) should be effectively implemented.

The network of dedicated freight corridors must be speedily completed

Smaller new ports should be constructed at regular intervals along the coast to increase the number of origin-destination pairs and to increase the attractiveness of coastal shipping

Important regulatory agencies for inspecting shipments of food, pharmaceuticals, textiles and biological matter should have on-airport offices. These agencies and laboratories should be integrated into a common information technology system shared with customs, airports and cargo service provider.

With respect to the movement of liquids and gases via pipeline, a National Pipeline Grid could be established along the lines of the National Electricity Grid

Logistics parks should be established at major transportation hubs including at the origin and destination points of Dedicated Freight Corridors (DFC), and at major industrial centres or near major urban conurbations

A new central body, the Central Logistics Development Council (CLDC) comprising of industry members, ministry representatives, and financial and academic institutions should be set up with the mandate of promoting the logistics industry

Institutions for Transport System Governance

India’s transport policy environment is fragmented between modes and level of government, with infrastructure investment planning, policymaking, regulatory oversight (to the extent that it exists), and financing strategies scattered across and within levels of government. India’s governance of regional transport corridors is also somewhat more centralized than international practice for intergovernmental division of responsibility.

An “integrated” approach to transport planning does not mean centralised decision-making, but rather setting up of systems for information flow, knowledge generation, and continuous, interactive dialogue between relevant organisations throughout the project cycle

NTDPC recommends establishment of anOffice of Transport Strategy (OTS)at the national level within the 12th Plan period to design and coordinate transport strategy. OTS to be

  • an independent agency associated with the Planning Commission; and
  • with resources to build a strong technical team, manage and analyse transport data, and assert itself as a compelling advocate of policies that leverage transport for development goals
  • OTS to provide ongoing technical support for sectoral investment programmes to build on the work of the NTDPC

Offices of Transport Strategy to also be established at the state level.

Statutorily and financially empowered Metropolitan Urban Transport Authorities (MUTAs)to be establishedat the metropolitan city level.

India needs to have a single unified ministry with a clear mandate to deliver a multi-modal transport system that contributes to the country’s larger development goals including economic growth, expansion of employment, geographic expansion of opportunities, environmental sustainability, and energy security. Therefore, in the medium term, a unified Ministry of Transport is recommended, as is the practice in almost all other countries, with similar merger of transport functions at the state level to follow.

Regulation

The combination of extensive economies of scale and scope and the fact that transport services are deemed essential to a broad range of users, make regulation absolutely essential in the provision of these services

Ministry of Transport as envisaged in the Report is a vital step towards good regulatory design along with independent regulatory institutions – with functional and financial autonomy - in each transport sector that includes a separate dispute settlement arrangement.

Set up or strengthen such regulatory institutions that would guard against exercise of monopolistic power, ensure efficient and competitive pricing, and enforce safety and environmental regulations.

The boundaries between Competition Commission of India (CCI) jurisdiction and the sector regulators will have to be established over time by precedent.

Legal structure in the transport sector needs to be simplified. Existing sector-specific enactments need to be unified into a single statute.

Life cycle analysis should be used to facilitate decisions related to inter-modal choices and intra-modal improvements in order to minimise adverse environmental impact of transport projects

Energy and Environment

Energy usage in transportation has been growing at rates corresponding to the growth in transportation itself, which is predominantly dependent on petroleum products. Most studies predict energy consumption by the transport sector will increase by factor of 2 to 4 over current levels, by 2030.

The transport sector is a key contributor to CO2 emission, though India has come a long way over the last two decades to establish vehicle emission and fuel quality standards, and to develop compliance mechanisms for them. However, there is a need to review current and future standards accordingly to ensure that the country does not fall behind the world’s latest developments

Bharat IV fuel quality standard should be implemented nationwide by the middle of this decade, with a target to reach Bharat VI by 2020.

Tighten and enforce vehicle standards to drive further innovation in emissions control, reaching European levels in 20 years

Establish National Automobile Pollution and Fuel Authority (NAPFA) that will be responsible for setting and enforcing vehicle emission and fuel quality standards in India

Government to set up an auto fuel policy committee every five years to ensure air quality for our citizens

Adequate and quality public transport systems should be assured in all cities with population above 500,000 and safe Non-Motorised Transport options should be available everywhere

Transportation of Energy Commodities

Sustaining economic growth at 8-10 per cent per annum over the next two decades will require massive increases in power generation and transportation of bulk commodities such as coal, iron and steel. Energy imports are the pre-eminent component of our trade imbalance and current account deficits, and a major source of vulnerability to price shocks

India’s requirements for bulk commodities are expected to grow rapidly over the next two decades by a factor of 4; Intensity of steel use is expected to go up by a factor of 8; and domestic coal, which accounts for half freight volume in Indian railways,  is expected to witness an increase in production by over 2.5 times during this period.

Ø  The rail network which is one of the main modes of transport for dry bulk commodities is already stretched to capacity with almost all the major trunk routes bearing traffic well above their designed capacity.

Ø  Recommendations, inter alia, include

A strategic bulk transport planning group that monitors developments and potential developments in coal and other fuel markets, renewable energy technologies, and domestic fuel supply, should be established

Priority for Critical Feeder Routes for Coal and Iron & Steel

Need to focus on tri-state region of Odisha, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh

Promote coastal shipping from coal producing areas on the eastern coast.

Private sector participation investment models to be explored

In order to carry the much higher volumes of bulk  commodities over the next two  decades, Indian Railways  will have to take big strides  in improvements of transport infrastructure by focusing on infrastructure enabling higher axle loads; specialised wagon and loading technology; and longer trains.

Selection of sites for mega ports to be influenced by the transportation nees of coal and petroleum

Fiscal Issues

The current transport pricing system is an accumulation of multiple taxes and user charges implemented at different points of time at varying levels of governance and  is quite different across modes and states. This is partly due to the existing constitutional provisions.

Action should be taken to evolve a simple and rational road transport tax structure that promotes economic efficiency and environmental sustainability.

It is recommended that the Ministry of Finance may convene an Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers to undertake this exercise on collaboration with the Road Transport Ministry to rationalise and simplify this tax structure into a single composite tax.

There is a need to integrate tax administration related to interstate movement of freight and passengers through information and communication technology (ICT) at national, state and regional level

A "single window" clearance system for all types of taxes and charges at state border will greatly reduce transaction cost

Indian Railways should develop a system of accounting of depreciation and internalisation of all costs into its pricing system through user charges. Once the depreciation costs are accounted for, cross-subsidisation or direct subsidisation may still exist in its current form. It is important to emphasise that public transport pricing is widely used as an instrument of poverty alleviation. We do not recommend completely doing away with cross-subsidisation.

Information and Communication Technology in Transport

ICT technologies have proved to be crucial in transport sector– be it the smart cards that allows seamless movement across modes or the seamless ticketing systems or RFID baggage tags or the flight information system or the single window approach in Ports or the “Flow-Through Gate” which reduces congestion, or the GPS tracking and  ICT can also be used to integrate transport systems with other systems resulting in reduced energy use and greater customer satisfaction

Initiatives for further development of ICT in transport in India requires a strong institutional foundation for development and implementation that can focus on standards and process, policy, consulting and project management, training, research and development.

It is recommended that an autonomous central level Indian Institute of Information Technology in Transportation (IIITT) be established to develop the overall framework of ICT enablement in Indian transport sector.

IIITT to assist the government ministries and departments related to transportation in all the functional areas and will coordinate with all other proposed central-level sub-sector institutions, as well as state and city-based institutions

Research and Human Resource Development

At present knowledge gaps exist in all areas of activity, namely Design, construction, operation, management, maintenance, safety, demand management,  project management, use of technology and finance

International experience has shown that it is important to establish transport planning as a high-status occupation as well as to decentralize the institutional system and build institutions and networks for the next two decades.

It is recommended that 1 per cent of investment in each transport sector be earmarked for quality institution and capacity building in both public and private sectors

Initiate process to set up a variety of research institutions: Indian Institute of Transport Research, Indian Institute for Transportation Statistics, Roads Standards Institute, and others

Set up centers of excellence in selected universities and research institutes in each transport sector

Sponsor further education for 2-5 per cent of existing personnel in transport-related engineering organizations, both public and private.

A Task Force should be constituted by the Planning Commission to prepare a report on the number of new special bachelors and masters degree programmes that need to be set up at different institutions around the country for training of the workforce necessary over the next ten year period in the transport sector.

Safety

The existing rates of fatalities and the rate of increase in accidents are both unacceptably high. At present, there is very little expertise, data or information available in India to address issues of safety scientifically for any mode of transport.

Transportation safety management has seen a shift from being action based to one that is explicit and quantitative.

Establish independent National Safety Boards for road, railways, water/marine and air headed by professionals at the highest levels. These boards should be independent of the respective operational agencies.

Road Safety Boards to be established at the State level

Safety policies to be announced before the end of 2015 with measurable indicators for evaluation in each sector for a five-year and 10-year period.

Set up safety departments within operating agencies at different levels for ensuring day-to-day compliance with safety standards and study effectiveness of existing policies and standard

Promoting International Transport Connectivity

South Asia region stands out with having the least developed transport connectivity between its constituent countries and is also among the least inter-connected region in economic terms.

Potential of ASEAN-India trade and investment agreements can be realized only through full transport connectivity and linkages. The overall forward strategy needs to link the soft and hard aspects of transport infrastructure development.

Inter alia,  measures recommended include:

Improved road access to border posts through reclassification of the last few km of all road corridors up to international borders along identified corridors  so they are treated as part of National Highways and thus maintained better.

modification of these domestic laws and regulations to the needs of international traffic

standardization of technologies, including track, signaling and rolling stock, in order to introduce commodity specific freight wagons

Improvement of port and trade facilitation measures though simplification of procedures

Lowering non-physical barriers.

Trade through all modes should be opened up so that there are enough options available to traders. Multimodal routes need to be identified and developed and institutional reform undertaken at the borders

testing facilities need to be made available at land borders so that consignments do not have to be sent across to other places for testing

a dedicated Joint Task Force to be constituted to promote International Transport Connectivity in the Region

Highlights of  Sector-specific Recommendations

Railway

Massive capacity expansion of the railways must be undertaken for both freight and passenger traffic in a manner that has not taken place since independence.

This will require significant organisational reform of Indian Railways. There is need for institutional separation of roles into policy, regulatory and management functions. The Ministry of Railways (or theunified Ministry of Transport in the future) should be limited to setting policies; a new Railways Regulatory Authority would be responsible for overall regulation, including the setting of tariffs; and the management and operations should be carried out by a corporatized entity, the Indian Railways Corporation (IRC) to be set up as a statutory corporation, which would retain many of the quasi governmental powers endowed to the Railways under the current Act. Existing railways corporations such as CONCOR, DFCCIL, and the like will become subsidiaries or joint ventures of the IRC.

Strategy for freight business should include Dedicated Freight Corridors (DFCs) and setting up of a focused business organisation for multimodal transport of non-bulk commodities

Strategy for passenger services should include augmentation of supply, shift of focus to long distance and inter-city transport, upgradation of speed and development of select High Speed Rail corridors.

Single biggest challenge is capacity creation and a vision similar to that of NHDP is required to transform railways by 2032.

Accounting system to be revamped into a company account format in line with the Indian GAAP.

Establishment of National Board for Rail Safety & Establishment of Railway Research and Development Council

Corporatisation of existing public sector railways production units

Independent Rail Tariff Authority to be set up

Priority to be given to projects to be taken up with Nepal and Bangladesh

Roads and Road Transport

Establishment of a dedicated Road Data Centre

Systematic numbering of different classes of roads as per international practice

The current programme of PMGSY should be expanded to achieve universal connectivity to all habitations on time bound basis.

It is necessary to formulate and implement a comprehensive master plan for the NE region covering all modes of transport including roads

For capacity augmentation of state highways, every state should formulate and implement comprehensive state level programmes on the lines of the NHDP

To improve financing of roads, the accruals to the CRF may be enhanced by making levy of cess on fuel on ad valorem basis. Meanwhile the cess of Rs 2 per litre may be increased to Rs 4 per litre.

The existing policy of levy of toll on two-lane roads needs to be done away with. A two-lane highway on the primary network should be viewed as a basic minimum facility and provided through government budget including CRF

Special needs of connectivity to ports, airports, mining areas and development of power plants should be factored in development of the road programmes

To enhance technical capacity establish a national level dedicated road design institute. Similar institutes to be set up at the state level.

Establish Road and Road Safety and Traffic Management Boards as recommended by the SundarCommittee.

The government may consider not to treat maintenance of roads as a non-Plan activity so that it does not suffer ad-hoc cuts as is the current experience

The Motor Vehicles Act is in need of amendment to respond to the demand of road transport for the current century. The Sundar Committee has suggested the needed amendments. These need to be carried out

Civil Aviation

Efforts should be directed at building complementary regional, national and international air networks

A National Master Plan should be prepared which identifies clear economic reasons for building airports in generally specified locations

An Airport Approval Commission should be established within MoCA to review the business plans of proposed airports prior to granting clearance

The regulatory and policy functions should be clearly separated: the Ministry should focus on devising national policy, and on encouraging and guiding state governments in their efforts to develop the aviation sector

The Centre should progressively withdraw from airport operationswhere feasible and commercially sustainable. With respect to other airports run by the AAI, the government should clarify the future role of the agency. As a first step, the AAI should be separated into two distinct functions: Airport Operations and Air Navigation Services.

DGCA should be replaced with a Civil Aviation Authority responsible for the operational regulation of airlines and aircraft covering areas such as air-worthiness, safety and licensing, with separate divisions for air-space management, environment, competitiveness, and consumer protection

Air accident investigation should be made independent of the DGCA (or from its proposed new replacement, a Civil Aviation Authority), and a fully autonomous Accident Investigation and Safety Board is proposed

The taxation regime that applies to the entire industry should be revised in view of the distortionary nature of the present system of taxes and their unbundling from the economic tax base.

Consideration should be given to the development of disused or low-traffic secondary airports, where state governments could support their revival to stimulate air taxi operations for business and tourism.

The government should clarify the future role of Air India. In the present environment, reasons for government to operate an airline in a highly competitive, volatile, and capital-intensive environment must be clearly defined.

The government must decide clear and stable rules governing the foreign ownership and operation of domestic airlines.

The regulation of tariffs at airports operated under the PPP model must be strengthened with more careful accounting of benefits and costs to various stakeholders, restructuring of tariff schedules, and with a view towards maintaining the dynamism of Indian civil aviation.

There is an absence of formally recognised educational programmes at the degree and diploma level in the field of civil aviation. Budgetary support should be provided, and industry support encouraged, for the expansion of aviation programmes at universities, especially at the graduate level

The establishment of a non-lapsable exclusive fund to provide explicit and direct subsidies to airlines as a form of viability-gap funding is a preferable alternative to ensuring service to remote and inaccessible, and so financially non-profitable, areas of the country

Ports

At present, there is no comprehensive and coherent strategy for the location of ports in the country or indeed for the overall investment programme in these ports. There is a strong need to put in place an overarching long-term theme for national port development that prioritises and guides investments while also paving way for regulatory reforms and suitable governance structure.

A key government priority should be to invest in four to six Mega Ports over the next 20 years, with two to three on each coast and an expert group should be expeditiously set up to undertake detailed studies to identify potential location and modalities for creation of Mega Ports

The governance structure of Major Ports needs significant change in the form of corporatisation and decentralisation. While the term ‘privatisation’ has often been used in the context of port reform processes, it actually refers to the introduction of private sector into the public domain by privatising terminal services under a landlord port regime. To implement the shift, a three-step approach is recommended:

  • Transform the current port trusts into statutory landlord port authorities. The ownership of these port authorities should be public. They would own the land and only when they become landlords would they function as the neutral regulatory authority for the terminal operators.
  • Subsequently, unbundle all Major Ports and corporatize terminal operations of port trusts as public sector corporations.
  • The corporatized public sector terminal operators could potentially be disinvested, listed, and possibly privatised at a later stage.

Priority should be given to developing coastal shipping by setting up coastal terminals at major ports and developing five to six non major ports as designated coastal shipping ports.

Development of inland water transport with adequate intermodal connectivity can help to reduce the congestion on roads and rail and reduce CO2 emissions.

TAMP should be restructured under a new Major Ports Authority Act and allowed to regulate tariff setting on a normative basis till such time that it is found essential for lack of competition. TAMP could also act as the Appellate Tribunal for all tariff-related matters where tariff is determined by service providers.

A new regulatory authority, Maritime Authority for Ports (MAP), should be constituted under a modernised Indian Ports Act, suitably empowered to regulate competition and port conservancy across all the major and non-major ports in the country.

It is important that the Indian shipping industry be provided a level playing field for it to grow and compete globally with vessels under other flags. This will require rationalisation of restrictive policies, particularly related to imposition of a variety of direct / indirect taxes.

Urban Transport

Urban transport policies and strategies should be formulated with an “avoid, shift and improve” framework

The primary responsibility for urban transport should lie with state governments. Over time, urban transport responsibilities should be devolved to metropolitan and city authorities, particularly for India’s larger cities of more than 1 million

Metropolitan Urban Transport Authorities should be set up as holistic and integrated decision making and coordinating bodies with adequate technical staff.

Priority in planning for modes should focus on improving mobility through non-motorised transport, public transport and para transit, and personal vehicles in that order

Dedicated non-lapsable and non-fungible Urban Transport Funds (UTF) should be set up at the national, state and city levels. The UTFs should be funded in a robust manner as under:

  • A Green Surcharge of Rs. 2 on petrol sold across the country
  • A Green Cess on existing Personalised Vehicles should be levied at the rate of 4 per cent of the annual insured value for both car and two wheelers.
  • Urban Transport Tax on Purchase of New Cars and Two Wheelers:  At 7.5 per cent of the total cost of the petrol vehicles and 20 per cent in case of personalised diesel cars.

Consistent with the general proposition of decentralisation of responsibilities for urban transport, arrangements would need to be made so that urban transport funds thus collected devolve appropriately to state and city levels. This devolution of resources to the state and city level transport funds should be on an entitlement basis and not at the discretion of the central government. This proposal could be examined by the Finance Commission, perhaps beginning with the 14th Finance Commission.

Transport Development in the North East

Four-lane access to all state capitals in the North East needs to be ensured

Road maintenance is a huge challenge for the NER. It is recommended that a policy decision be taken to cover maintenance expenditure under the Plan.

NER Road Development Authority (NERRDA) to be established under the aegis of Department of North East Region

Creation of airport hubs with hangars is strongly recommended for Guwahati, Agartala, Imphal andDibrugarh.

Promotion of helicopter services

Creation of locally trained manpower to run civil aviation infrastructure

Development of Guwahati airport as a full-fledged international airport, as a gateway to ASEAN.

As regards rail link, planning and execution should be carried out in two phases – I (upto 2020) and II (2020-2032) with Phase I providing inter- and intra-regional connectivity and Phase II providing multi-modal hubs and trans-border connectivity.

New railway lines, one connecting Sittwe in Myanmar to Tirap in Arunachal Pradesh across Mizoram, Manipur and Nagaland and another line connecting Dhubri to Silchar via Meghalaya is considered essential to improve transportation in the region.

Inland water transport in the NER, especially traffic across the boundary on international waters in Bangladesh, has exciting prospects for both countries.

Inland water transport should be utilised for movement of over dimensional consignments to avoid congestion on roads especially in the Chicken’s Neck area of the corridor between North Bengal area and Assam.

It is an opportune time for India to develop strategic long term view on intensifying international transport linkages from the north east region to its neighbours like Bhutan and Bangladesh as also the ASEAN countries, Myanmar in particular. For such international linkages to be productive there has to be even better transport integration of the region internally, and with the rest of India.

In conclusion, as an approach, this Report recommends

the need for modernisation and expansion of all segments of the transport system and the building of capacity in all its aspects to accomplish this;

Institutions at national, state and local levels, each embedded with adequate technocratic capacity in both quality and quantity;

setting up of new or operation of existing regulatory authorities with adequate technical competence to mediate between the needs of producers and consumers, to promote competition and to regulate any consequences of monopoly power;

setting up or strengthening research and development institutions on transport across the country; providing for education and nurturing of scientific talent for transport;

rationalisation of fiscal regimes to remove distortions while raising revenue; and

most importantlyembedding safety concernsin all transport planning and its execution.

Last Updated on Thursday, 03 April 2014 05:43
 

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