editorial-mumbai-trans-harbour-link-bridge-to-prosperity

Editorial: Mumbai Trans Harbour Link: Bridge to Prosperity

 

Inauguration of Atal Setu: 22-km long six-lane sea bridge, a pivotal step in India's initiative to revamp physical infrastructure and global investment appeal.

The recent inauguration of India's longest sea bridge, the 22-km Atal Setu, formerly known as the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Sewari-Nhava Sheva Atal Setu or the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link, marks a significant step in the country's effort to transform its physical infrastructure and global investment appeal.

 

Built for Rs 17,840 crore, the bridge reduces travel time between central Mumbai and Navi Mumbai from 2 hours to about 20 minutes. PM Modi envisions Atal Setu as a symbol of a developed India.

 

Over the past decade, the Indian government has undertaken structural reforms to address economic challenges, particularly after the 2008 Global Financial Crisis. The twin-balance sheet problem, where private businesses were over-leveraged and banks weighed down by non-performing assets, threatened India's international investment standing.

 

Presently, Indian banks have been revitalized, ready to finance growth, while the government has proactively boosted infrastructure through increased capital expenditure and improved project implementation. Construction metrics across various sectors indicate significant improvements, with anticipation of further momentum.

 

The focus on enhancing physical and digital infrastructure is crucial for India to leverage the global disenchantment with China and attract investors seeking alternatives in the global supply chain.

 

With advantages such as a young workforce, a free-market economic system, and a vibrant democracy, India has the potential to become a developed country in the next quarter-century. However, sustained growth requires increased private sector participation, recognizing the limitations of prolonged government-driven initiatives in an emerging economy.

 

Key Points:

  • Atal Setu Inauguration: India's longest sea bridge, the 22-km Atal Setu, inaugurated as the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Sewari-Nhava Sheva Atal Setu or Mumbai Trans Harbour Link.

  • Cost: Constructed at a significant cost of Rs 17,840 crore.

  • Travel Time Reduction: Reduces travel time between central Mumbai and Navi Mumbai from 2 hours to about 20 minutes.

  • Symbol of Development: PM Modi envisions Atal Setu as a symbol of a developed India.

  • Structural Reforms: Over the past decade, the government implemented structural reforms to address economic challenges post the 2008 Global Financial Crisis.

  • Twin-Balance Sheet Problem: Private businesses were over-leveraged, and banks faced non-performing assets, challenging India's international investment standing.

  • Revitalized Banks: Presently, Indian banks have been revitalized and are ready to finance growth.

  • Government's Proactive Role: The government has proactively boosted infrastructure through increased capital expenditure and improved project implementation.

  • Construction Metrics: Significant improvements in construction pace and quality across various sectors.

  • Anticipation of Momentum: Anticipation of further momentum in infrastructure development.

  • Global Shift Away from China: Strategic focus on enhancing physical and digital infrastructure to attract investors seeking alternatives in the global supply chain amidst the global disenchantment with China.

  • India's Advantages: India, with a young workforce, a free-market economic system, and a vibrant democracy, has the potential to become a developed country in the next quarter-century.

  • Private Sector Participation: Recognizing the limitations of prolonged government-driven initiatives, increased private sector participation is crucial for sustained growth in an emerging economy.


 

From an economic standpoint, the article touches upon the twin-balance sheet problem faced by India post the 2008 Global Financial Crisis. This connects with topics covered in the Economics portion of GS Paper 3, which delves into issues related to banking, finance, and economic reforms.

The strategic emphasis on enhancing physical and digital infrastructure aligns with international relations and global affairs, components integral to GS Paper 2. The discussion around attracting investors amid the global shift away from China also resonates with topics related to global geopolitics and economic trends, typically found in both GS Paper 2 and Paper 3.

Moreover, the article underscores the potential of India to become a developed country in the next quarter-century, emphasizing the demographic dividend and economic system. This intersects with the social and economic development themes covered in GS Paper 1 and GS Paper 3.

Finally, the call for increased private sector participation and the acknowledgment of the limitations of prolonged government-driven initiatives reflects the nuanced understanding required for governance and economic policy questions, prominent in GS Paper 2.

 

 

Imp for: UPSC Prelims, UPSC GS Mains Paper II

Topic: Infrastructure development and governance

 

 

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