8th Five Year Plan (Vol-2)
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Agricultural and Allied Activities || Rural Development and Poverty Alleviation || Irrigation, Command Area Development and Flood Control || Environment and Forests || Industry and Minerals || Village and Small Industries and Food Processing Industries || Labour and Labour Welfare || Energy || Transport || Communication, Information and Broadcasting || Education, Culture and Sports || Health and Family Welfare || Urban Development || Housing, Water Supply and Sanitation || Social Welfare || Welfare and Development of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes || Special Area Development Programmes || Science and Technology || Plan Implementation and Evaluation


The Scenario

9.1.1 Transport sector bears a close and complex relationship with all other sectors of the economy. While it tends to act as the prime mover of the development process, it must also respond to the development process, if the latter has to be smooth. Socio-economic planning engenders structural shifts in the economy, widely influencing the pattern of movement of people and goods and therefore, the nature and the quantum of demand for transportation. Transport planning has, thus, to be integrated with overall development plans.

9.1.2 Creation of transport infrastructure requires time. It is necessary to anticipate the demand on the transport system ahead of socio-economic changes. In view of the long gestation involved , transport planning has to be seen in perspective longer than the Five Year Plan periods. Often, the capacities created during one Plan period are the results of the investments made in earlier Plans. Two issues, therefore, stand out: first, the need to preferably complete all the ongoing works to derive the maximum benefits from the earlier investments and secondly, to make investments keeping in view the longer time-frame perspective.

9.1.3 Transport infrastructure has expanded considerably in terms of network and services over the last four decades as indicated in Table 9.1.

9.1.4 Railways have extended their route length from 53,596 kms in 1950-51 to 62,597 kms in 1989-90. Freight, in tonne kms, carried by the Railways has increased five-fold over the last 40 years. Passengers originating have grown by three times during the same period. The aggregate length of roads has increased from 0.4 million kms in 1950-51 to 2.10 million kms in 1989-90. Forty-six per cent of the villages in the country are now connected by all-weather roads. Traffic handled by the major ports has increased nearly seven-fold in the last four decades. The number of passenger buses has gone up by nearly eleven fold and goods vehicle fleet by 20 fold. Domestic air traffic has increased ten-fold in the last 30 years.

9.1.5 It would be seen from Annexure 9.1 that the percentage share of investment in the transport sector to the total plan outlay grew rapidly in the first three Plans, followed by relative stagnation and even decline up to Sixth Plan. Paucity of resources resulted in inadequate investments which, in turn, resulted in the inability of the transport sector not to keep pace with the requirements of the economy. Substantial gaps developed between demand and supply. Practically every other sector of the economy, particularly those dependent on infrastructure suffered. Inadequate investment manifested itself in the form of non-replacement of overaged stock, slowing down of modernisation and inadequate attention to maintenance in practically every sub- sector of the transport sector.

9.1.6 Inter-modal investments also showed considerable disparities over the Plan periods. The two principal means of transport, namely rail and roads, particularly suffered from the falling share of investments from the Third Plan onwards. The Seventh Plan attempted to reverse this situation by enhanced outlays. There has been some improvement in investment in the railway sub sector. This enabled the Railways in the replacement of rolling stock, electrification, modernisation and technological upgrada-tion.

9.1.7 Productivity levels have improved in almost all the sub-sectors during the Seventh Plan as seen from Table 9.2.

9.1.8 Railways witnessed substantial technological upgradation in the form of induction of new generation diesel locomotives with the latest traction technology. A multi-modal system in the form of container transport has emerged as an important feature of the transport scenario. Six of our major ports are equipped to handle container traffic. To conserve energy, the Railways have accelerated the programgie for phasing out steam locomotives on the one hand and stepping up electrification of the

Table - 9.1 Transport Infrastructure and Output

Sl No

Item Units 1950-51 1960-61 1970-71 1980-81 1984-85 1989-90 1990-91 1991-92(P)
1.1 Route length Kms. 53596 56247 59790 61240 61850 62597 62367 62571
1.2 Electrified Route length Kms. 388 748 3706 5345 6325 9648 10083 10809
1.3 Throughput
1.3.1 Orig. Freight Traffic M.Tonnes 93.0 156.2 196.5 220 264.8 334.3 341.4 362.8
1.3.2 Net Tonne (Kms.) Bn. T kms 44.12 87.68 127.36 158.47 182.16 236.3 242.2 254.3
1.3.3 Passengers Originating Millions 1284 1594 2431 3613 3380 3653 3880 4073
2.1 Total length 000 Kms. 399.9 524.5 917.9 1491.3 1686.92 103.21' 2197.91' 2296.8
2.2 Percentage of Villages connected with all weather roads Per cent N A N.A. N.A. 29 35 45.51' 45.813 46.2
3.1 Number of Goods Vehicles No.in 000 82 168 343 590 808 1289P 14601' 1605
3.2 Number of passenger Buses No.in 000 34 57 94 154 211 3121' 3401' 370
4.1 Traffic handled M. Tonnes 19.2 39.9 55.7 80.41 107.04 147.27 152.55 155
5 Minor Ports
5.1 Traffic handled M. Tonnes N.A. N.A. 6.76 6.73 9.63 10.43 11.00 11.00
6.1 Domestic Airlines
(a) Indian Airlines *
(i) Available Tonne Kms Million - 113 208 663 959.6 1134.0 ' 926.7 1134.0
(ii) Revenue Tonne Kms. Million - 83 161 420 663.6 826.0 699.2 794.0

P : Provisionally estimated * Includes international traffic also routes, on the other. State Road Transport Undertakings have recorded improvements in terms of fuel efficiency and productivity.

9.1.9 Improvements in the performance of the transport sector, though substantial, give no room for complacency. Railway capacity has reached a piateau and substantial additional traffic output is feasible only through creation of additional capacity. The road infrastructure suffers from poor maintenance. There is an urgent need to accelerate road connections to villages, improve inter city and intra city transport and take steps to reduce serious regional imbalances in accessibility.

9.1.10 The process of technological upgra-dation has been very uneven. While the automotive sector in India has undergone a major transformation through induction of fuel efficient, environmentally clean vehicles, this has, however, been by and large limited to the personalised modes of transport. Its impact is yet to be felt in the public transport system, especially in the road transport industry where the state of the art technology has not been applietl to improve the bus body or the chassis.

Table - 9.2 Selected Productivity Parameters of the Transport System

Sector 1984-85 1989-90 1990-91
NTKMs per wagon day(BG) 1150 1420 1410
Wagon turn round time(BG)(days) 12.8 11.3 11.5
Average turn round of Ships(days) 11.9 8.9 8.1
Road Transport (State Road Transport Undertakings)
Fleet Utilisation( %) 84 89 89
Vehicle Productivity per bus day(Kms.) 218 257 259

9.1.11 There is considerable scope for further improvement of productivity levels in almost all modes of transport, essentially, on the basis of modernisation and upgradation and improvement in the output levels of manpower and equipment.

9.1.12 The transport system carries excessive manpower in relation to requirements. In several areas like ports, road transport, shipping etc. the present manning scales are dis-pro-portionately high. While pursuing the process of upgradation of technology, it will also be necessary to take complementary steps to redeploy all the manpower available after fresh training.

9.1.13 Rapid urbanisation, especially, around larger cities has brought to the fore acute problems of urban transport. We are yet to make worthwhile efforts to evolve a financially viable entity for constructing and operating a Mass Rapid Transport (MRT) system. The enormous increase in the number of personalised vehicles has substantially increased pressure on the already fragile network of roads and resulted in congestion in most of the cities. The deteri-oriation in public transport has compounded the problems. While provision of a MRT system would be ultimately required for all the metropolitan cities, it is imperative to look for low-cost options like better engineering, expansion of public transport system etc. It is also time that effective action is initiated to find acceptable answers to the problems of funding the construction of an integrated MRT system in metropolitan cities.

Transport and Energy

9.2.1 Transport is not only a major user of energy, but different modes of transport use different forms of energy with varying degree of efficiency and intensity. Energy use planning is a critical aspect of the transport sector. A three-pronged strategy is visualised. First, due, weightage has to be given to energy consumption while considering the choice amongst available alternatives. This would, inter-alia, mean preferring rail transport for long haul bulk movements, with road transport handling intra-region short haul movements. Adequate stress needs to be laid on coastal shipping and .'•-'and water transport, which have the lowest fuel ci...^-'mption. Public transport system needs to be strengthened to obviate the use of highly energy intensive and costly personalised transport. Secondly, energy efficient transpor, modes must be promoted by phasing out the old, obsolete units, induction of fuel efficient state of the art systems, achievement of higher operational efficiency and expansion of electric traction etc. Thirdly, well considered attempts must be made to reduce transport intensity. Rationalisation of the movement of certain hulk commodities, and transportation of power to end use areas instead of movement of large quantities of coal to thermal plants over long distances can greatly help demand management of transport needs. Location of industries, power plants, refineries, etc. must take into account the transport costs to the economy. Often, the transport demands are influenced by factors, not necessarily conforming to patterns suggested by comparative cost considerations. Timeliness in the movement of goods, theft or pilferage enroute, door-to-door service dictate consumer preference as between roads and railways. An appropriate transport pricing policy, taxation and subsidisation structure could be instruments in channelising the consumer demand in desired directions.

Transport and Environment

9.3.1 Transport systems consume scarce resources of land and energy, and can have wide ranging impact on environment. The problem is to strike a harmonious balance between competing demands. Two distinct ways of guarding against environmental pollution, while building the transport network, will have to be kept in view. One is to design standards to which transport equipment in operation must conform in order to prevent pollution and the other is to devise means to prevent pollution while constructing the transport network.

Strategy and Thrust in Eighth Plan

9.4.1 The Eighth Plan must continue the process of consolidation and further intensify the measures for achieving higher levels of productivity through technological upgradation. A major thrust will have to be accorded to better maintenance of assets and rational use of capacities created in the different sub-sectors. As part of the overall perspective for the transport sector playing a critical role, augmentation of capacities wherever required will have to be initiated. Some of the major areas are discussed in the following paragraphs.


9.4.2 Productivity is influenced by a number of factors such as induction of new technology, mechanisation, modernisation, upgradation of manpower skills etc. Hence, productivity levels have to be measured as a function of these parameters and not just as a linear extension of past performance levels which may at best provide only a comparative picture as between two different time frames. It will be necessary to periodically update the targets of productivity to be achieved, taking into account the assets upgradation for evaluating performance. Also in order to realise the full potential of the upgraded assets, manpower training and deployment must go hand in hand with such upgradation.

Rural and Intermediate Transport

9.4.3 A state of dualism prevails in the transport system of the country. Traditional forms such as bullock- carts, animal and even manually handled carts exist in large numbers alongside a growing modern transport system. These traditional forms of transport perform a useful role and would continue to be on the scene for the foreseeable future. Improved design of animal driven carts and provision of optimal means of transportation within a limited radius would reduce the strain on animals and augment the carrying capacity of the vehicles. Reduction in drudgery and the load on the animals should receive as much priority as introduction of modern modes of transport. Innovative forms of intermediate transport have also come up in rural areas such as modified threewheeler units, mini buses and a large number of tractor units. These forms of travel need to be encouraged to improve mobility and transport efficiency in the rural areas.

Investment Pattern and Tariff Structure

9.4.4 Inter modal transport investment priorities too need a review. Transport units should progressively be encouraged to become self-financing and viable. It will be appropriate, to the extent feasible, to reframe the pricing and tariff structure to achieve this objective. It is a well known fad that at present the tariff structure of most undertakings do not reflect the true cost of operations. In order to remedy this, the principles of Long Run Marginal Cost (LRMC) pricing for public enterprises is recommended. The main benefit of this pricing principle is that it reflects the current social cost of delivering the services using the most efficient plant available. It also links investment planning to costs and enables the enteiprise to become financially viable. It must, however, be recognised that transport undertakings also have to serve socio-economic objectives and hence an element of subsidisation is inevitable. Cross subsidisation, too, is advisable to a limited extent, so that it does not become burdensome. In general, subsidies should be retained only on specific social or societal considerations and need to be explicitment. There is need to set up a road and traffic Data Bank at national and State levels which will greatly facilitate in the preparation of programmes and their execution. It may be necessary to strengthen and coordinate the research and development activities undertaken by the Central Road Research Institute, the road laboratories in different States and other organisations.

Induction of Private Investment

9.4.5 In view of the severe constraint of budgetary funds, innovative steps will have to be taken to induce the private sector to participate in road construction and upgradation, especially the express ways and selected highways where a fair rate of return can be ensured to the investor, by way of tolls etc.

9.4.6 State participation in the transport sector will continue to he predominant, as it is necessary to provide affordable public utilities to the community and also to ensure transport facilities in inaccessible areas. However, the continuously increasing transport network and high cost entailed in its construction and maintenance calls for active cooperation and coordination between the public and the private sector, wherever feasible and desirable. Supplementary private carriers to augment passenger road transport, operation of air taxi services, construction and operation of toll roads, participation in selected port and shipping activities are a few emerging examples.

Rationalised Use of Capacities Created in Railways, Roads and Inland Water and Coastal Water Transport

9.4.7 In the years to come, road and rail transport will continue to remain the dominant modes of transport. The railways will have to overcome their capacity problems and increasingly concentrate on long and medium distance bulk movement, leaving traffic over comparatively shorter distances to the road transport. The projected increase in rail traffic in the Eighth Plan period would be on a few identified corridors which are likely to reach saturation levels. Action to create requisite capacity has to be initiated. Alternative routes are preferable where they help in reducing the overall distance/transport effort.

9.4.8 With the increasing diversification of the economy and accelerated efforts towards balanced regional development, the inter modal transport requirements of a region will he studied as an integral part of the development of the region. A beginning has already been made in the North Eastern Region and in the Andaman Nicobar Islands. In view of the prevailing high costs of energy, the utilisation of certain modes of transport like inland water transport, coastal shipping, pipelines and ropeways would been couraged wherever economically feasible. Government policies will have to be reoriented to facilitiate the development of these modes on a sound commercial basis.

9.4.9 Energy, technological development and environment measures are three factors which will have a significant role in determining the shape of the transport system in the forsee-able future. The emphasis will be on modernisation and on building an energy efficient transport system.

9.4.10 The road network will need to be expanded and upgraded and maintenance ensured to promote smoother running and saving on fuel. Railways will need to induct higher horse power energy efficient locomotives, improve rail track and extend electrification. Ports will witness a sea change in cargo handling techniques with the advent of containerisation. The average size of ships will need to conform to the modern port handling systems. Road transport will need to redesign its bus and truck chassis to ensure energy efficiency and comfortable ride. In aviation, the emphasis will he on acquisition of more energy efficient aircraft and improved navigation and communication systems, along with commensurate airport ground facilities.

9.4.11 In the preceding paragraphs, we have taken an overall view of the transport sector as a whole. The status in respect of each of the sub-sectors in the transport sector, in terms of performance profile, emerging issues and the strategies visualised for their development in the next five years are detailed in the succeeding sections.



9.5.1 Indian Railways occupy a unique position in the socio-economic map of the country. Energy efficient, economical in land use and with a high degree of operating efficiency, the railways are considered a vehicle of growth contributing to rapid industrial and infrastruc-tural development of the country.

9.5.2 The Indian Railway system is the second largest system in the world under a single management. It is a multi-gauge system operaling on three gauges - the broad (BCi), the Metre (MG) and the Narrow (NG). At the end of March, 1990, the route length of the rail network comprised 62597 route kms. including 14227 route kins. of either double or multiple tracks. About 56 per cent of the total route kilometres is on the broad gauge, accounting for 90.50 per cent of the freight tonne kms. and about 83.00 per cent of the total passenger kilometres. Metre gauge, covering about 38% of the total route kms. carries 9.43 per cent of freight tonne kms. and 16.42 per cent of the passenger kilometres. The narrow gauge comprising 6.54 per cent has an insignificant share in the total traffic. Electric traction at the end of Seventh Plan, constituted about 15% of the total route kms. and accounted for 42% of the total gross tonne kilometres of freight traffic on BG and about 35% of the total passenger kms. Railways have a fleet consisting of 8590 locomotives, 37,953 coaches and 3,49,560 wagons spread over 7076 railway stations. The rolling stock fleet is serviced and running repairs are undertaken in 225 loco sheds and 401 carriage and wagon sick lines and central repair depots situated all over the network. Periodical overhaul of rolling stock is undertaken in 49 workshops.

9.5.3 Due to the vast geographical spread, uneven distribution of natural resources and large population, the advantages of railways as an important and inexpensive mode of transport are obvious. Demand on the Railways for carrying freight and passenger traffic is increasing very fast and it is expected that by the turn of the century the growth of freight and passenger traffic would be almost double of the level attained in 1987-88. In a situation where demand is rising faster than capacity and when the present capacity is fully committed to carry core sector traffic like coal, foodgrains, petroleum, oil and lubricants (POL), fertilizers etc., the Railways are left with no margin for carrying general cargo or other types of industrial traffic even when offered. Increasing railways' capacity to handle higher quantum of freight and passenger traffic, thus, becomes extremely important and would need to be attended to during the Eighth Plan period.

9.5.4 A review of plan investments in the past would indicate that the outlay on railway sector as a percentage of total plan outlay ranged between 11.10% and 15.5% in the first three plan periods came down to as low as 6.9% to 5.9% in the next four plan periods upto the Seventh Plan. As a result, the investment planning for Railways in the recent years has been barely adequate to meet the minimum needs of the traffic growth; consequentially the network expansion has been low.

9.5.5 The growth of rail transport in India has been impressive. From 1284 million originating passengers in 1950-51 the figure had reached nearly^3653 million in 1989-90. Passenger kilometres have increased four fold from 66517 million to about 2,80,848 million. Similarly, originating revenue tonnage increased by more than four times from 73 million tonnes in 1950-51 to 310 million tonnes in 1989-90. Net tonne kms (revenue) have increased six-fold from 37565 million in 1950-51 to 2,29602 million in 1989-90.

9.5.6 The Indian Railways have assets worth nearly 19730.59 crores as on 31.3.1990 and employ 1.65 million people. As on 31.3.1990 Indian Railways had 3,336 steam locomotives, 3610 diesel locomotives, 1,644 electric locomotives, 27,992 coaches, 6861 other coaching vehicles, 3100 EMUs and 3,49,661 wagons. Over the last three decades the Railways have recorded an average growth rate of 5% per annum in both freight and passenger traffic.

9.5.7 The railway system operates through 7,076 railway stations. Four sides and two diagonals of the golden quadrilateral with its vertices at Delhi, Bombay, Calcutta and Madras carry more than 50% of passenger and 60% of freight traffic. It has been estimated that in order to keep pace with the demands of a vibrant economy, it will be ncicessary for the Indian railways to almost double the existing capacity by the year 2000 A.D. The Eighth and Ninth Plans are, therefore, crucial for the Railways. The thrust in the Eighth Plan has to be in the direction of capacity generation, rehabilitation and modernisation. Manpower planning, human resource development, energy conservation, greater safety, financial viability and above all customers' satisfaction through reliability and quality of service are other important objectives.

9.5.8 Due to technological changes, change of traction and operational improvements and innovations, staff redundancies occur. The major areas are steam locomotives, goods sheds, marshalling yards etc. Manpower planning, manpower reduction and human resources development have to be the main planks to ensure productivity in the future. Qualitative improvement in the employees' profile is needed now more than ever before. While staff productivity, as measured by the number of traffic units per employee, utilisation of assets in terms of net tonne km-s. per wagon day, wagon turnround, loco utilisation etc., have improved over the years, there is scope for further improvement in these areas by resorting to technological upgra-dation and further improvement of operating pattern through innovative approaches. Similarly, there is need for placing greater emphasis on energy conservation, phasing out steam locomotives and measures to reduce the consumption ofHSD and lubricating oil. Introduction of low idling features in diesel locomotives, use of rail and flange lubricators and energy audits of major railway installations are some of the areas which call for greater attention and action. Similarly, improvement is called for in track technology since the track constitutes the basic infrastructure of the Railway system.

9-5.9 The railways, operate under certain constraints. They have limited freedom to fix fares and freight rates to reflect the actual costs. The railways are a basic infrastructural necessity and act as a catalyst for economic growth. In the process, Railways tend to subsidise in a way and nourish the economy and incur'social cost, much beyond the normal call of any transport system. The impact of the social burden on the railway finance has been growing over the years. In 1975-76, these losses stood at Rs.188 crores while in 1989-90 they were about Rs.2104 crores. The loss in passenger traffic, both suburban and non-suburban, loss in carrying certain essential commodities like foodgrains, salt, fodder and losses on account of uneconomic branch lines mostly account for the social burdens.

9.5.10 Indian Railways are wholly owned and operated by the Government of India. The budgetary support from the general exchequer for the railway plan, however, is declining over the years. Itcamedown from 75% in the Fifth Plan to 58% in the Sixth Plan and to about 40% in the Seventh Plan. In 1990-91 and 1991-92, the budgetary support has been of the order of 33% and 32% respectively. While on the one hand there is need for investment to support and increase the transport capacity, on the other, due to resource constraints, the budgetary support for Railway plan is declining. The Railways, therefore, had to take recourse to market borrowings during the Seventh Plan by floating bonds through Indian Railways Finance Corporation. About Rs-2500 crores were borrowed during the Seventh Plan period. While the market borrowings, to some extent, bridged the gap between the requirement and availability of resources, it has been imposing a heavy drag on its working expenses. Compared to 6.5% dividend which the Railways had to pay on the capital provided by the general exchequer, it had to pay 14.5% as leasing charges for 10 years' railway bond (interest and amortisation cost). There is, therefore, a need to restrict the limit of market borrowings which otherwise may threaten the financial viability of the system.

9.5.11 The physical targets and achievements during the Seventh Plan are summarised in Annexure-9.2. The picture that emerges is as follows :-

(i) Additional freight traffic of 70 million tonnes was carried, in 1989-90 as compared to the year 1584-85. This, in itself, was a remarkable achievement compared to the performance in the past. However, a shortfall of about 11 million tonnes in the targetted traffic of 345 million tonnes was observed mainly on account of less than anticipated offer of coal, foodgrains and steel traffic for movement.

(ii) There was increase in the lead of freight traffic during the first three years of the Plan in relation to what was assumed at the time of the formulation of the Seventh Plan. Against a target of 680 kms. at the end of the Plan, the average lead reached a level of 726 kms. during 1987-88 Thereafter, the average lead started showing a downward trend during 1989-90 it is estimated to be around 708 kms. The efforts to rationalise hulk movement, in order to keep down the lead uf haui, will need to be continued.

iii) The passenger traffic (non-Suburban) increased by 6.5 per cent per annum during the first three years. During the last two years, the increase slowed down. Overall, during the Seventh Five Year Plan, the increase is estimated to be of the order around 4.8 per cent per annum. It is pertinent to note that investment planning in the Railways has been done largely on the basis of regulated growth of passenger traffic, preference being given to freight movement in a situation of overall constraint of resources. Growth in passenger traffic in actual practice could not, however, be contained and has exceeded the targets. The result was the continued use of old and overaged coaches which in turn bring down the quality of service. Replacement of overaged coaching stock warrants special attention during the Eighth Plan.

iv) Impressive gains have been recorded in productivity levels expressed in terms of freight loading and movement. The wagon utilisation index reached a level of 1453 Net Tonne Kms (NTKms) on Broad Gauge sections by the end of 1988-89 from 1150 NTKMs during 1984-85, dropped down to 1428 NTKMsIn 1989-90. An increase of about 24% was witnessed during the plan. The increase in the index on Metre Gauge sections was about 43 percent. The need to augment the capacity of the railway system to meet the projected traffic as well as to provide a cushion to take care of seasonal peaks was highlighted during the Seventh Plan. Severe constraint of resources, however, came in the way of allocating the requisite funds to the Railways. Financing through open market bur-owings (a relatively costlier form uf funding) had to be resorted to. The financial resources generated and made available were, however, still short of requirements. While the Railways have met the demand for freight services, especially in respect of bulk commodities to critical users, the same cannot he said about some other commodities and also general users. The share of the Railways in the movement of commodities like cement, fertilizers etc., needs to he substantially stepped up in the interest of reducing costly road movement. Railways would need to continue their efforts to further optimise the use of their fixed and rolling assets. It is clear that greater investment will have to he directed towards easing capacity constraints in selected segments of the trunk routes.

(v) In the above context, development of terminals is also an important requirement. Loading and unloading arrangements in respect of bulk commodities are the responsibilities of the major users of rail services like the collieries, the thermal power stations and other major industries. The major users have not made investments necessary for development of rapid handling terminals which can substantially reduce the detention of the rolling stock. The time has now come to seriously reconsider this arrangement and explore the possibility of the Railways sharing the required investment with the major users in the interest of better utilisation of the rolling stock.

(vi) The Railways had recorded an excellent performance during the the Seventh Plan in terms of additional transport effort, rehabilitation of the system, financial performance, better productivity, technological upgradation and modernisation and industrial relations. The incremental originating revenue earning freight traffic went up by 73.6 million tonnes from 236.4 MT to 310 MT which is equivalent to the increase in the previous two decades. On the financial side, the Railways declared a surplus of Rs-533 crores after meeting the dividend liability in tull It is noteworthy Ihis was achieved while making substantially stepped-up contributions to the Depreciation Reserve Fund (Rs.6735 crores) and Pensions Fund (Rs.2310 crores). But, there is continuing need to contain operating expenses and increase traffic receipts. The losses in the operation of passenger services are increasing at an alarming rate. There is a limit to the extent to which the losses can be offset by cross - subsidisation-In fact, the tariff for freight traffic has now reached a level where further increases are likely to prove counter-productive. Adjusting the passenger fares to reduce losses appears inescapable. Action in this direction is essential to provide adequate resources for development.

(vii) An outlay of Rs.12,334 crores was provided to the railways for the Seventh Plan. Financing of the approved plan outlays during each year of the seventh plan 1990-91 and 1991-92 and the actual expenditure incurred is presented in Annexure 9.3 The investment during the Seventh Plan was financed as follows :

(Rs. crores)
(i) Budgetary support 6942(41.95%)
(ii) Bonds 2520(15.22%)
(iii) Internal resources 7087(42.82%)
Total 16549

The plan headwise details during the Seventh Plan, 1990-91 and 1991-92 has been indicated in Annexure 9.4

(viii) Normally, all new railway line projects are undertaken out of the loan capital by way of budgetry support. For the first time, a new experiment carried out for ftinding the construction of the Konkan Railway by raising of market borrowings and setting up of a Corporation where the equity contribution is to be .shared between the Ministry of Railways and the beneficiary States, in the ratio of 51 : 49. The balance amount required would he raised from the open market in the form of tax-free bonds.

(ix) It has, however, to he recognised that all the investments made by the Railways do not directly go to augment the capacity of the system. A major portion of investment on made the replacement ofoveraged assets do not add to capacity except to the extent of upgraded equipment. Similarly, allocations under electrification may not necessarily result in capacity augmentation but only improve operational efficiency and lead to conservation of fossil fuels. Again, there are a large number of miscellaneous items of expenditure such as works undertaken for operational reasons as well as for staff welfare and passenger amenities. Similarly, investments made by Railways in public sector undertakings, metropolitan transport and inventories do not result in capacity augmentation. It is observed that almost half of the total allocations of the Railways go in for such other works, not directly linked with increasing capacity of the system.

(x) A major feature of the modernisation efforts made by on the Indian Railways is the progressive use of computers. Over the last decade, computerisation is being progressively extended to core accounting systems, inventory control, management information system in the production units and operational control rooms, passenger reservations and recently to freight operations. Computerised reservation facility will shortly cover 18 cities constituting almost 64% of the total reservation work load in the Railways. Many -studies relating to the introduction of freight operation information system (FOJS) have been undertaken and completed with the assistance of a specialised organisation set-up for the purpose. As a first step, the freight operation information system is being installed on the Northern Railway to evaluate its projected efficacy before extending it to other zonal railways.

Areas of Concern and Major Issues

9.5.12 Railways' Share in Total Traffic -Though the Railways are energy efficient and eminently suited for movement of freight traffic over medium and long distance, a good share of this traffic is carried by road. To reverse this trend it is necessary to substantially improve, inter-alia, (a) the carrying capacity on selected .section of the Railways (h) the operational efficiency and commercial practices of the Railways; (c) linkages with road transport at loading and unloading centres.

9.5.13 Capacity Requirements - There is hardly any slack in the railway. The capacity assessment of the system necessarily has to contend with certain inherent characteristics of the Railways as a mode of transport. Common physical assets are made use of to provide different types of transport services like freight and passenger movement and any change in the mix alters the output of the system. Again, a considerable portion of the assets is location-specific and cannot be adjusted to changes in the demand for services. Additional output henceforth would be possible only on the basis of adequate investments - both for creation of additional capacity and for replacement of assets. The important rail corridors connecting major centres of activity which handle massive volume of traffic have reached a saturation level. Development of alternate routes, rather than additional trackage on these routes, may subserve the purpose of both easing the traffic and opening new areas of development. Further, a systems approach needs to be adopted while building new railway lines so that aggregate capacity of Railways could be enhanced.

9.5.14 Facilities/amenities to the passengers - As against the target of 2% growth in passenger traffic, the actual increase is anticipated to be around 5% per annum and will continue to remain so. The increasing passenger traffic cannot be ignored any longer, particularly the long distance travel. Adequate investments have to be considered for meeting the realistic demand. On the other hand, efforts to shed short distance travel would need to be pursued vigorously. Appropriate policy measures are required to be taken in this regard.

9.5.15 Energy Conservation - The Railways are a major user of liquid fuels and must contribute to energy conservation. The gradual change of traction from steam to diesel and to electricity has undoubtedly increased the energy efficiency of the system. The Railways have initiated steps for introduction of new fuel and energy efficient diesel and electric locomotives. Appropriate R and D measures need to be taken to improve on the fuel efficiency of the existing locomotives, which would remain in operation for years to come.

9.5.16 Renewal/Replacement - A major effort was made to accelerate the renewal/replacement ofoveraged assets in order to progressively reduce the backlog in this regard. About 19000 Kms. of tracks were renewed during the Plan and all the old locos and most of the overaged wagons were replaced. A substantial backlog of track (11500 Kms. of track length) and bridges (2400) persists. A large number of coaching stock has yet to he replaced. There can, therefore, be no let up in emphasis in this direction.

9.5.17 Electrification - Electrification programme, taken up by the Railways during the Sixth and the Seventh Plans, will have to be continued. Apart from completing the electrification on the major trunk routes, it would be desirable to go in for electrification in other high density routes on a continuous network basis,

9.5.18 On Line Performance -The incidence of 'on-line failures' of fleet and equipment is fairly high. Such failures on the crowded traffic corridors, even if stray, tend to bring about a quasi-paralysis of the corridor which the system cannot take in its stride. The sine-qua-non of economic operations on the Indian Railways must be the absolute reliability of the equipment. The proportion of the fleet awaiting repairs has improved in relation to the targets/norms fixed by the Railways (Annexure-9.5). However, the maintenance infrastructure is still inadequate in relation to the rolling stock. The pace of modernisation and rationalisation of maintenance facilities requiring reduction in the number of workshops, conversion of multi-activity shops to uni-activity shops and creation of facilities for composite rakes is slow. Further, the Railways continue to engage themselves in production activities leading to sub-optimal utilisation of workshop capacities. They need to off-load some of their manufacturing activities and concentrate on their assigned role as transport operators. The modernisation and rationalisation programme must result in no "on-line failures".

9.5.19 Technological Upgradation - During the Seventh Plan, the Railways initiated action to release the system from a situation of technology freeze which had persisted for more than two decades. The massive scale of replacements provided an opportunity for the introduction of new technologies and the muchdesired modernisation of infrastructure. In fact, in several areas, upgradation could go hand in hand with replacements. The Railways would need to explore the potential in new areas like higher axle loads, and improved track geometry.

9.5.20 Manpower Planning - The manpower costs in the working expenses of the Railways form a sustantial proportion. Higher level of mechanisation and technology upgradation are necessary intruments to handle growing volumes of traffic and to achieve economies of scale. In the process, rationalisation of deployment of manpower would become possible. In addition, pension liability for the staff is increasing substantially requiring considerably stepped-up annual contributions. From a level of 5.45 percent of the gross traffic receipts during the Seventh Plan, the requirements are anticipated to increase to over 8 per cent during the Eighth Plan period.

9.5.21 Containerisation - While the world over, containerisation has been increasingly adopted, the process has been slow in India. Containerisation offers a number of advantages not only to the Railways in terms of improved wagon turn round and reduced multiple handling but also to the users, in term of safe transportation and quick delivery. In view of this, it would be appropriate to hasten the on-going programme during the Eighth Plan, by exploring the possibilities of involving the private initiative for expanding the inland depot network as also to provide containers.

Traffic Projections for the Eighth Plan

9.6.1 A freight traffic level of  443.4 million tonnes per annum is expected to be carried by the Railways by the end of the Eighth Plan. On the basis of an estimated average lead of around 715 KMs, the total transport output is estimated at 318.5 billion tonne KMs. (BTKMs). The commodity wise breakup of the total traffic is given in the Annexure-9.6. In respect of passenger traffic, a target of annual growth of 5% is assumed.

Outlay for the Eighth Plan

9.6.2 For the Eighth Plan, the approved outlay of Rs. 27,202 crores. This includes a budgetary support of Rs. 5375 crores and the balance is to be set from internal and extra budgatary resources.

Strategy Visualised

9.7.1 Given the constraints and the expected role of the Railways, the strategy and the broad objectives for the Eighth Plan are given below

  1. Complete the process of rehabilitation, replacement and renewal of overaged assets;
  2. Adopt improved methods of maintenance to increase the productivity and reliability of services and assets;
  3. Augment line, terminal and rolling stock capacities and convert metre gauge to broad gauge on a selective basis;
  4. Take steps to improve the overall efficiency of the Railways through technological up-gradation, reduction of operation costs and increasing productivity of labour and capital assets.
  5. Conserve energy through technological upgradation, with greater stress on electrification;
  6. Expand the network on a selective basis to increase the line capacity on saturated routes through alternative routes, connecting the missing links in the network and lines required for strategic, industrial and other developmental needs;and
  7. Continue the "system approach" to reduce costs of operation and strive for an optimal balance between capital and human endeavour inputs.



9.8.1 Along with other modes like railways, waterways and air services, roads provide the basic infrastructure for transportation of goods and passengers. Roads cater to all types of traffic; the long distance traffic is served by national highways and State highways, inter-dis-trict and intra district traffic by major district roads, feeder traffic connecting rural centres of production to market outlets by other district roads and local traffic by village roads and urban roads.

TABLE - 9.3 Expenditure on Roads and Bridges - Seventh Plan
(Rs. crores)

Seventh Plan 1990-91 1991-92
Outlay Expenditure Outlay Expenditure Outlay
I.Central Sector of which 1019.75 1640.91 460.00 410.23 490.00
National Highways 891.75 1481.68 413.50 390.07 446.00
II. . State Sector 4180.29 4693.88 1363.41 1303.05 1575.68

Investment on Roads

9.8.2 Total investment on roads and road bridges in Central and State Sectors since the beginning of planning, is given at Annexure -9.1. The share of investment on roads has been declining over the Plan periods.

9.8.3 Expenditure incurred in the central and state sectors during the Seventh Plan, 1990-91 and 1991-92 is given in Table - 9.3 .

9.8.4 Substantial expenditure has been incurred on the construction of roads under certain other heads of development like special employment programmes and North East Council during Seventh Plan. Such expenditure was estimated to be of the order of  Rs. 2175 crores during the Seventh Plan.

Review of Past Growth

9.9.1 There has been a steady growth in the road network in the last four decades, as shown in Table 9.4.

9.9.2 It will be seen from the above that the total length of national highways has increased only by^about 70% between 1950-51 and 1989-90 while the increase in the case of all other roads is of the order of 544%

9.9.3 In 1950-51, only 39% of total road length was surfaced. This rose to 43.3% in 1970-71, and 46.7% in 1984-85. The latest avialable information does not indicate any significant increase in the proportion of surfaced road sleaving over 50% of the road length in the country unsurfaced

Table - 9.4 Length of Roads
(Thousand Kms.)

1950-51 1960-61 1970-71 1980-81 1987-88 1989-90
1. National Highways 19.81 23.80 29.13 31.67 32.33 33.69
2. State Highways 42.56 61.69 89.22 94.36 112.50
3. Other Roads (including district roads and village roads etc.) 337.57 438-99 799.53 1365.27 1698.59 2069.5p
Total : 399.94 524.48 917.88 1491.30 1843.42 2103.23p

Source: 1. 7th Plan Document. 2. Directorate of Transport Research, Min. of Surface Transport.
P : Provisionally Estimated

Road Connection to Villages

9.9.4 Accessibility of villages by allweather roads improved significantly duing the Seventh Plan. It has been estimated that by the end of the Seventh Plan, the total number of villages with a population of 1000 and above were about 102900 villages. During 1990-91 the corresponding achevement was 2000 villages and during 1991-92, 2300 villages are targetted to be connected.

Major Constraints

9.9.5 The national highways (NH) which constitute the primary network of the road system in the country has recorded a moderate expansion since 1951. The total length of the NH system at present is estimated to be 33,600 Kms. compared to a about 20,000 Kms. in 1950-51. Over the years, the NH system has come under severe strain due to high rate of growth in traffic volume. Selection and prioritisation of different segments of road network for improvement and upgradation are handicapped by the absence of reliable data. There are as yet no arrangements for systematic collection of data on road traffic in the absence of traffic recording and reporting procedures, multiplicity of transport agencies and preponderance of single vehicle operators. Attempts had been made in the past by different groups and committees to build up estimates of road traffic for goods and passengers by different methods and under different assumptions. These traffic estimates and projections show considerable variations. It is necessary to undertake periodic traffic surveys to update information at regular intervals.

9.9.6 Road traffic is likely to increase substantially in the next 10 years. The order of increase may be anywhere between 100% and 200%. The road system has to be strengthened and expanded to meet this expansion in traffic. The main problems facing the development of these roads are inadequate road pavement, breadth and thickness and presence of old, weak and narrow bridges and culverts.

9.9.7 In the case of rural roads, the main problem is that at present several organisations handle road construction and maintenance resulting in duplication of effort, lack of uniformity and imbalanced development of the network. There is, therefore, need to unify the organisational structure for rural road planning, constru-citon and maintenance so as to derive the maximum benefits from the outlays.

9.9.8 Maintenance of roads has not received adequate attention in the past primarily because of lack of funds. It was estimated that availability of funds for maintenance generally does not exceed 60% of normal requirements and in case of rural roads it is still less.

Thrust Areas and Strategy for the Eighth Plan

9.10.1 The existing deficiencies in national high-ways(NH) would require construction of missing links, four-laning and two laning of various sections, construction of bridges and by-passes etc. The first priority will be given to complete the ongoing works. For systematic development of the NH system, different strategies will need to be adopted for low, medium and high volume traffic density routes. .Capacity augmentation of high density traffic corridors carrying more than 15,000 passenger car units traffic per day, through four - laning will need to he taken up during the Eighth Plan. For selected high density corridors, it may he necessary to consider expressway facility for rapid and safe movement of fast traffic. Levy of tolls may he considered for highway users.For national highways carrying medium traffic density, traffic upto 15000 PCUs, strengthening of pavement and widening to two-lanes including reconstruction of bridges, wherever necessary, need to be taken up. For low traffic density routes carrying traffic upto 5,000 PCUs, widening to two-lanes may be considered only on a selective basis, depending upon the resource availablility. However, weak and narrow bridges have to be replaced.

9.10.2 As regards additions to the National Highways system, it would be necessary to adopt a very selective approach in view of the resource constraints and the need to give priority to removal of deficiencies on the existing NH system.

9.10.3 Constraints of resources may not permit removal of all the existing deficiencies in the State highways during the Plan period and a selective approach based on economic cost benefit analysis may have to be adopted. Consolidating the existing network should receive high priority. It would be necessary to widen and strengthen the pavement structure to minimise vehicle operating costs and maintenance expenditure. A number of bridges would be required to be constructed/reconstructed. Special attention has to be given to those State Highways which would require to be upgraded to national Highway in the future on the basis of traffic densties and growth. It is essential that the State Governments make arrangements to prepare suitable road and bridge inventories covering the existing physical status and structural condition of the main network comprising the State highways and major district roads and then update them at regular periodic intervals. Regular traffic counts on these roads would be necessary in order to decide on the inter-se priority of development of various sections.

9.10.4 Rural roads are essential for achieving the objective of integrated rural development. The priority for rural road development in the Eighth Plan would be as under :-

a) Linking of all villages with a population of 1000 and above on the basis of 1981 census.

b) .Special efforts to accelerate village connectivity in respect of backward regions and tribal areas.

9.10.5 It would be appropriate to integrate rural road construction and maintenance under Minimum Needs Programme (MNP) with local area development planning. State Governments may pool the resources, made available under MNP and special employment programmes and undertake rural road construction under the respective local area development plan.

Productivity and Technological Upgrada-tion

9.10.6 Construction, upgradation and improvements of roads involve heavy expenditure. Engineering measures to ensure a minimum 15 year design life, to improve road safety and reduce fuel consumption should be identified for implementation. It is necessary to improve the design of vehicles for both passenger and freight. Plying of multi- axle vehicles and truck-trailer combinations need to be encouraged to reduce their damaging effects on pavements and also to reduce the vehicle operating costs. Procurement of modern road building equipment needs to be encouraged. In the construction of roads meant for high traffic density, the emphasis should be on modern techniques involving a fairly high degree of mechanisation and rigid quality control. For rural roads, however, existing construction technology and labour intensive methods would suffice. Use of new concepts like geo-synthetics, reinforced earth construction, cable stayed bridges, segmental construction techniques, incremental launching methods in bridge construction etc. should be introduced which would not only lead to better productivity hut also reduce cost of construction.


9.10.7 Maintenance of roads has not received adequate attention in the past primarily because of lack of funds. It would he necessary to provide sufficient funds for maintenance to avoid continuing deterioration of roads built with scarce Plan resources.

Augmentation of Resources

9.10.8 In view of the resource constraints, it would be desirable to look for non-Governmental sources of funds and private participation in road construction. Augmentation of Central Road fund should help, to some extent, increase the resources available for road development. Another possible source for additional resources for the road sector could be toll-based highway projects. Private participation through Build, Operate and Transfer(BOT) projects, should be encouraged.

Research and Development

9.10.9 Research and development activities have an important role to play in meeting the challenges of modernising the road system, technology upgradation and finding cost-effective solutions to infrastructural problems in general. The emphasis during the Eighth Plan would be to reorient road research activities to achieve the objective of improvement and upgradation of the road network at the least possible cost. Problems relating to improvements, upgradation, construction and maintenance of various types of roads and road transport should be prioritised and projects to be implemented in a time-hound frame should be sanctioned accordingly. The focus of research should be not merely on technological aspects but also planning and management. There is need to set up a road and traffic Data Bank  at National and State levels which  will greatly facilitate in the preparation of programmes and their execution. It may be necessary to strengthhen and coordinate the research and development  activities undertaken by the Central Road Research Institute, the road laboratories in different States and other organisations.

Eighth Plan Outlay

9.11.1 The need for higher outlays in the road sector is recognised. However, due to constraint of resources, an outlay of Rs.2,600 crores has been indicated for Central Sector Roads. The requirements would be reviewed during Annual Plan discussions and adjustments made at that stage.

9.11.2 In the State Sector, an outlay of Rs. 10610 crores is provided for roads and bridges including Rs. 3066.10 crores for rural roads under the minimum needs programme.



9.12.1 Road transport is of great importance both for movement of passengers and goods. It is ideally suited for short and medium distances because of its inherent advantages such as easy availability and flexibility of operation, adaptability to individual needs, door to door service and reliability. It is also the main mechanised means of transport in hilly and rural areas not served by Railways. Road transport provides one of the basic infrastructure facilities for economic development of backward areas besides being the feeder service to rail traffic, ports and harbours.

9.12.2 During the last four decades, road transport has rapidly gained importance in the overall transport system of the country. The total number of all types of mechanised motor vechicles increased from a mere 3 lakhs in 1950-51 to 192 lakhs in 1989-90. Categorywise No. of registered ve hides is given in table 9.5.

Expenditure/Outlay in Road Transport Sector

9.12.3 Table 9.6 gives the outlay and expenditure during Seventh Plan, outlay and anticipated expenditure during 1990-91 and outlay for 1991-92.

Goods Transport

9.12.4 Road freight services are almost wholly owned and operated by the private sector. Steps have been taken in recent years to remove certain impediments to the growth of road transport industry. A major step has been to liberalise the issue of National and Zonal Permits. In January 1986, the Central Government removed the ceiling on the number of National Permits for public carriers to be issued by the State Governments and Union Territories. As a result, permit holders were authorised to operate in any five States, subject to payment of multiple taxes. Though there is a general appreciation among the State Governments of the inhibitory nature of octroi, some States are still continuing to levy octroi. The Government will have to continue its efforts in pursuit of the abolition of octroi in States, and Union Territories. The recently introduced scheme for truck parking complexes needs to be extended to cover all the States in the country. In order to provide loading and unloading facilities, parking areas, transport operators' office, services by banks and post offices etc. "Transport Nagars" may be set up on the out-skirts of the major cities. This step should provide the necessary infrastructure and incentives to the truck operators to increase the utilisation of vehicles and productivity.

Table 9.5 Registered Motor Vehicles
(In '000 Nos.)

1951 March

1961 March

1971 March

1981 March

1990P March

1. Goods vehicles 82 168 343 590 1289
2. Buses 34 57 94 154 312
3. Cars, jeeps and taxis 159 310 682 1122 2733
4. Two wheelers 27 88 576 2530 12525
5. Other Vehicles 4 42 170 847 2314
(Tractors,, trailers, three wheelers another misc. vehicles)
Total 306 665 1865 5243 19173

Source : Ministry of Surface Transport - Transport Research Division. P : Provisionally Estimated.

Table 9.6 Outlay and Expenditure

Sl. Scheme No. 7th Plan 1990-91 1991-92 Outlay
Outlay Ependiture Outlay Expendiure
I. Central Sector
I.Delhi Transport Corporation 100.00 76.39 50.00 43.00 53.00
2.Capital Contribution to SRTCs 65.00 180.52 27.00 20.00 15.00
3. Other Schemes 39.92 1.00 4.00 0.70 2.00
Total Central Sector 203.92 257.19 81.00 63.70 70.00
State Sector 1786.18 1893.44 390.58 443.66 586.62
Grand Total 1990.10 2151.35 471.58 507.36 656.62

Non-Mechanised Transport

9.12.5 The rural sector in the country is dependant on animal drawn carts for transport. It is estimated that there are well over 15 million bullock carts in the country today and carrying a significant volume in areas not even linked by all-weather roads. Therefore, there is need to improve the design and capabilities of bullock carts.

Passenger Transport

9.12.6 Road transport passenger services are provided both by the public and private sector in the country. While the total number of passenger buses is estimated to have increased from 1.54 lakhs in March 1981 to 3.12 lakhs in March 1990, the share of  the  public  sector  buses  in  the country as a whole has declined from 45% to around 33%.Details are given in    Table 7.

9.12.7 In the organisationed setup of passenger bus services in the public sector, there is no uniform pattern. Several States have established Corporations under the Road Transport Corporation Act, 1950 while some States are operating either through companies registered under the Indian Companies Act, 1956 or departmental undertakings.

9.12.8 As on March 31, 1990, there were 68 State Road Transport Undertakings (SRTUs) having a fleet of 102,000 buses with a total investment of over Rs. 3700 crores and providing direct employment to 7.63 lakh workers. They carried about 60 million passengers per day.

9.12.9 There has been improvement in the productivity of the State Road Transport Undertakings during the Seventh Plan period. The over-all fleet utilisation has improved. Vehicle productivity has also increased from 218 Kms. per bus/day to 259 Kms. There has been similar improvement in staff productivity from 30.5 kms. per working day to 35.3 kms. in the corresponding period. Fuel efficiency during the period also increased from 4.21 kilometers per litre (KMPL) to 4.35 KMPL. There are, however, wide differences in the performance,efficiency and productivity of the individual SRTUs.

TABLE - 9.7 Growth of fleet in the private and public sectors
(in thousand numbers)

Year ending Private Sector Public Sector Total

Share of public Sector(%)

1980-81 84 70 154 45.5
1981-82 91 74 165 44.8
1982-83 100 76 176 43.2
1983-84 119 77 196 39.3
1984-85 131 80 211 37.9
1985-86 139 84 223 37.7
1986-87 152 89 241 36.9
1987-88 170 95 265 35.8
1988-89 179 99 278 35.6
1989-90 203 102 312 32.7

Source: Ministry of Surface Transport- Transport Research Division and Central Institute of Road Transport, Pune.

9.12.10 The physical performance during terminal years of Sixth and Seventh Plans and Annual Plans for 1990-91 and 1991-92 in respect 42 state road transport undertakings is given in Table 9.8.

9.12.11 Most of the State Road Transport Undertakings, face serious financial constraints. It has been noticed that the revision of fares has generally not kept pace with the increase in expenditure despite improvement in operational efficiency. Operation losses are also partly attributable to operations of uneconomic routes for social reasons. These undertakings, thus, need considerable financial support from Government for covering their current losses. The SRTUs suffered a total net loss of Rs. 1245 crores during the Seventh Plan. Net losses for the year 1990-91 (R.E.) and Annual Plan 1991-92 would be Rs.470 crores and Rs.362 crores respectively.

Strategy visualised for the Eighth Plan

9.13.1 Productivity of SRTUs can and need to be further improved. Measures to be taken in this regard include continuance of the emphasis initiated in the seventh plan period on replacement of overaged fleet, creation of maintenance facilities and in-service training of staff for both operations and maintenance, and adoption of improved management and operational practices so as to improve manpower productivity. The fare structure should be periodically reviewed and must reflect the cost structure.

TABLE - 9.8 Performance of State Road Transport Undertakings

Performance Indicator Sixth Plan ending Seventh plan ending

Annual Plans

1984-85 1989-90 1990-91 (RE) 1991-92 (Est)
Fleet Utilisation (% of buses on road) 84 89 89 89
Vehicle Prodctivity (Km. per bus held per day) 218 257 259 267
Staff Productivity (Km. per worker per day) 30.5 35.3 36.0 37.5
Fuel Consumption 4.21 4.35 4.37 4.40

9.13.2 Given the financial constraints, it is necessary to have integrated transport services by both the Public and the Private Sectors in a harmonious manner to meet the growing demands. It would be necessary to consider whether further augmentation of capacity should essentially be in the private Sector. State Governments should adopt a flexible approach in this regard and reorient their policies to permit operations of private services.

Urban Transport

9.13.3 Increasing urbanisation and the growth of personalised transport in the cities are resulting in acute congestion on city roads, besides causing environmantal pollution. The emphasis has to be on the growth of public transport, which also has to he improved substantially. In the metropolitan cities, an integrated Mass Rapid Transport system needs to be evolved.

9.13.4 Provison of transport facilities has to be integrated with land use planning which is particularly important for small and medium cities. It is also essential to prepare perspective transport plans for all cities so as to avoid fragmented, costly and often partial and ineffective solutions.

Modernisation of Road Transport

9.13.5 Technology upgradation has assumed high priority particularly in respect of design of vehicles suitable to the requirements of cities, rural areas and hilly terrain. For freight operations it is necessary to encourage the use of multi-axle and tractor-trailer combination in view of their inherent advantages of fuel efficiency, capability of higher pay-load and reduced damage to the road structure. However, considering the poor state of the roads in the country, a careful study of the various options needs to be undertaken and a rational fleet mix and axle load policy arrived at. Some signs of technology modernisation are already visible in the case of light commercial vehicles. The use of conventional two-axle-trucks whose design is out-dated would continue for quite some time. It is in the area of 10 tonnes or more pay-load category that modernistion is urgently called for. It is necessary to introduce a new state-of-the-art engine which is fuel efficient and causes less pollution. It is also necessary to introduce light-weight materials for replacing the present heavy wooden bodies. The buses are presently, being manufactured on truck chassis. Technology changes to bring about improvements in design of the chassis and bodies and of fuel efficient engines and also for the special needs of urban areas are overdue.

Road Safety

9.13.6 The road accidents in India are amongst the highest in the world, To reduce the incidence of accidents, a number of traffic safety measures adopted in the seventh plan continue to be pursued. Such measures would im !ude establishment of driver training schools, use of improved road signs, use of equipment tor checking over-speeding and facilities for stringent check of the mechanical condition of vechiles.

Eighth Plan Outlay

9.14.1 An outlay of Rs.264 crores is indicated for Road Transport in the Road Transport in the Central Sector. In the State Sector, including Union Territories, an outlay of Rs. 3585.53 crores is allocated for Eighth Plan.

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