Infrastructure News

Robust, sustainable, inclusive infrastructure is key to India’s growth story, ET Infra


The ambitious infrastructure projects in India present attractive investment opportunities.
The ambitious infrastructure projects in India present attractive investment opportunities.

India is about to enter a revolutionary period in which the development of its infrastructure will be crucial to achieving sustainable growth. Serving as a multiplier and catalyst of dreams and ambitions, infrastructure isn’t merely a facilitator for individuals; it acts as a conduit for the aspirations of millions seeking to realize their dreams.

The infrastructure sector stands as a crucial driver of India’s economy, playing a pivotal role in propelling development. The country has embarked on numerous infrastructure projects, with the surge in capital expenditure serving as the driving force behind this push. Despite the government’s renewed focus on infrastructure-led development and the construction sector witnessing a resurgence in growth, if not planned well, the development leads to degradation of the environment.

Infrastructure-led development is frequently associated with adverse effects on the environment and climate.

At the same time, a developing nation like India must experience economic growth if it wants to guarantee higher living conditions for its people and wants to be a reckoning power. And, therefore, we must ensure that the focus is on both robust and sustainable infrastructure-led growth.

Driving Economic Growth
The correlation between infrastructure development and economic growth is undeniable as robust infrastructure implies smoother movement of goods and people and thus reducing transaction costs and enhancing overall productivity. India’s growth trajectory is intricately tied to its ability to build and maintain a resilient network of roads, railways, ports, airports and digital connectivity.

A well-connected nation not only attracts investments but also empowers local businesses to flourish. The emphasis on “Ease of Doing Business” and “Gati Shakti” is intrinsically linked to streamlined logistics and efficient transportation, both of which hinge on a strong infrastructure backbone.

Sustainable Development Goals
In the pursuit of growth, India is keenly aware of the environmental implications of unchecked development. The commitment to green infrastructure aligns with the country’s pledge to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Sustainable infrastructure aims to minimize adverse environmental impact, promote energy efficiency and integrate eco-friendly practices into construction and maintenance.

The adoption of renewable energy sources, eco-friendly construction materials and innovative waste management practices are integral components of India’s strategy for sustainable infrastructure. As the world grapples with climate change, India positions itself as a responsible global citizen by combining economic growth with environmental stewardship.

Leveraging Digital prowess in making cities Smart: The digital revolution is reshaping the landscape of infrastructure development in India. The integration of smart technologies into urban planning is giving rise to Smart Cities, where information and communication technologies are leveraged to enhance the quality of life for citizens. From efficient waste management to intelligent traffic control systems, these initiatives have contributed to optimizing resources and environmental sustainability.

As India’s urbanization gathers momentum, the creation of smart, connected cities is not just a luxury but a necessity. Technology-driven infrastructure not only enhances efficiency but also serves as a catalyst for innovation and economic diversification.

Using Green Bonds and sustainable investment funds
The ambitious infrastructure projects in India present attractive investment opportunities. The government’s commitment to public-private partnerships (PPPs) in infrastructure development has opened avenues for both domestic and foreign investors. Green bonds, sustainable investment funds and corporate partnerships are emerging as instruments to fund environmentally conscious infrastructure projects.

There is an increasing recognition among investors that long-term viability and resilient green infrastructure are the future, as they align with global trends towards sustainability and responsible investing. The convergence of financial interests with environmental stewardship is shaping a new era of infrastructure development in India.

Inclusivity is the Way Forward
Making sustainable infrastructure shall not limit the surrounding physical environment. It shall encompass the inclusivity of various sections of the society. To ensure inclusive growth, it is crucial we as a nation extend the benefits of infrastructure development to all sections of society.

Sustainable and inclusive infrastructure planning, which takes into account the needs of marginalized communities, promotes social equity and enhances overall resilience. The infrastructure choices we make now will eventually determine the quality of our shared future. Although there is still time to intervene, it is crucial that we act swiftly and immediately.

(The author is Executive Director in REPL; Views are personal)

  • Published On Mar 4, 2024 at 08:48 PM IST

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