Infrastructural Facilities in India: District Level Availability Index
The role of infrastructure in fostering economic growth and enhancing public welfare is more pronounced in developing economies like India. At the time of our independence, the national government was unanimous in accepting that a much wider base of infrastructure was the ‘sine qua non’ of economic development of this country. The complete consensus obviated the need for any debate on this issue and it was taken for granted that infrastructure sector needed both large scale action and outlay. There has been a remarkable growth in the absolute level of such facilities, as well as in the level relative to the size of the nation and population, i.e. in standardized forms, though the performance in terms of efficiency, quality and financial viability has remained circumspect, if not poor. However, a major aspect of this issue has been the wide regional variation in the availability of infrastructural facilities. This has often accentuated regional disparities in socio-economic development and stressed the necessity for an integrated regional development programme. The first step towards this direction is taking a stock of the regional distribution of infrastructural facilities in India. In this paper an attempt has been made towards this direction. It has been observed that there exists considerable regional disparity in infrastructural facilities in India, not only among the states, but within states also. It is also noted that the relative hierarchy has remained quite sticky over time. Thus, the situation is far from comfortable and this issue is to be taken up seriously to keep our economy on track.
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