Push­ing road freight

The Trans­port Cor­po­ra­tion of In­dia (TCI) in col­lab­o­ra­tion with IIM Cal­cutta launched the third edi­tion of re­port ti­tled ‘Oper­a­tional Ef­fi­ciency of Freight Trans­porta­tion by Road in In­dia’.

Cargo Talk - - Report -

The re­port is based on the joint sur­vey of road freight trans­porta­tion along 28 key routes in In­dia. The aim of the study is to ex­plore new ways to in­crease the oper­a­tional ef­fi­ciency of freight trans­port by road. This study, hence­forth re­ferred to as the 2014-15 sur­vey, was com­mis­sioned by TCI to as­sess the oper­a­tional ef­fi­ciency of freight trans­porta­tion by road in In­dia. This is a fol­low up study of the ear­lier stud­ies, also com­mis­sioned by TCI, in 2008-09 and 2011-12, hence­forth re­ferred to as the 2008-09 sur­vey and 2011-12 sur­vey, re­spec­tively.

The other ob­jec­tive was to make an as­sess­ment of the oper­a­tional ef­fi­ciency of freight trans­porta­tion by road and sug­gest rec­om­men­da­tions. The fo­cus of the 2008-09 sur­vey was on a de­tailed anal­y­sis of the truck­ing in­dus­try and a com­par­i­son of roads and rail­ways in terms of freight trans­porta­tion.

As on March 31, 2013, In­dia’s to­tal road length net­work was 5.23 mil­lion km and road den­sity was 1.59 km/sq km. How­ever, the length of na­tional high­ways/ex­press­ways was a meagre 100,087.08 km, or about two per cent of the to­tal road length net­work, even as they car­ried 40 per cent of the road traf­fic. Roads and rail­ways car­ried about 65 and 30 per cent, re­spec­tively, of the coun­try’s to­tal freight vol­ume.

The rest car­ried by wa­ter­ways and air­ways. In 2011-12, the con­tri­bu­tion of the trans­port sec­tor to In­dia’s GDP was 6.5 per cent, out of which roads and rail­ways ac­counted for 4.8 and one per cent, re­spec­tively.

Road freight vol­umes are ex­pected to in­crease from 1315 BTKM in 201213 to 1553 BTKM in 2014-15. How­ever, de­vel­op­ment of new roads has not been able to keep pace with in­creas­ing freight vol­umes and pas­sen­ger traf­fic since In­de­pen­dence, cre­at­ing in­fras­truc­tural bot­tle­necks. The gov­ern­ment should sim­plify and stan­dard­ise the rules and reg­u­la­tions across dif­fer­ent modes

The in­tro­duc­tion of a uni­form Goods and Ser­vices Tax (GST) is ex­pected to re­duce pa­per­work and check post de­lays, po­ten­tially sav­ing bil­lions of US dol­lars

of trans­porta­tion to fa­cil­i­tate mul­ti­modal trans­porta­tion. There­fore, the needs of the hour are to build new roads faster, widen ex­ist­ing roads and im­prove road con­di­tions through pe­ri­odic main­te­nance.

The Min­istry of Road Trans­port and High­ways set a tar­get of build­ing 17.26 km of new roads per day in 201415, up from 11.67 km per day in 201314. Also, 100 per cent of the toll plazas are tar­geted to be equipped with ETC in 2014-15.

The in­tro­duc­tion of a uni­form Goods and Ser­vices Tax (GST) is ex­pected to re­duce pa­per­work and check post de­lays, po­ten­tially sav­ing bil­lions of US dol­lars in de­lay costs, ad­di­tional fuel con­sump­tion cost due to slow ve­hic­u­lar speed and idling at check posts.

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