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BRIEF

The Transport Sector in India

March 19, 2014

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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • India’s transport network is one of the most extensive in the world.
  • However, accessibility and connectivity are limited. It is estimated that the transport sector alone will require an investment of nearly $500 billion (3.6 percent of GDP) over the next 10 years.
  • The World Bank Group's support for the transport sector in India focuses on the reform and development of railways, highways, and rural roads, and on improving road safety and ensuring asset sustainability.

The Transport Sector in India

India’s transport network is one of the most extensive in the world. The share of the transport sector in overall infrastructure investments has increased from 2 percent of GDP during 1995-99 to an average of 2.6 percent of GDP between 2007 and 2011. At the same time, accessibility and connectivity are limited. Only 20 percent of the national highway network (which carries 40 percent of traffic) is four-lane, and one-third of the rural population lacks access to an all-weather road.

It is estimated that the transport sector alone will require an investment of nearly $500 billion (3.6 percent of GDP) over the next 10 years. This is projected to be part of an overall push to stimulate overall infrastructure investments to 6.8 percent of GDP during the 12th plan and 8.0 percent of GDP during the 13th plan.

Ports and airports have inadequate capacity and often poor transport connectivity. Trains move very slowly owing to poor maintenance, and the entire railway system is grappling with issues of financial sustainability. Poor transport safety, especially road safety (138,000 road fatalities recorded in 2012, is a growing concern in a country that is adding new drivers at a record pace.