Saturday 2 June 2012

Dr. C.P. Joshi Releases 2nd Report on Operational Efficiency of Freight Transportation by Road in India

Dr. C.P. Joshi, Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways released the “2nd Report on Operational Efficiency of Freight Transportation by Road in India”here today. Speaking on the occasion, he said that his ministry will succeed in achieving the target of constructing 20 Kms road per day by 2013-14 as investments in road sector are very encouraging. Applauding the Report, he said that this may be very useful in formulating national policies. Expressing his deep concern on over-loading of vehicles, he asked the transporters to pay great attention to it as it leads to increasing road accidents besides damaging the quality of roads. Dr. Joshi said that his Ministry is very actively working on improving the Toll Plazas on national highways to make them more fuel efficient and time saver for vehicles.

Transport Corporation of India (TCI) had commissioned a joint study with the Indian Institute of Management (Calcutta) to assess the Operational efficiency of freight transportation by Road in 2008-09 and recently followed it up with a sequel in 2011-12. The objectives of the survey are to compare the route statistics for 2011-12 to 2008-09, identifying any major changes, make an overall assessment of operational efficiency of freight transportation by road and recommendations for its improvement. The recent survey also focuses on a comprehensive analysis of Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) in road projects, Electronic Toll Collection (ETC), access-controlled expressways and logistics parks/hubs. 

The key findings of the report were based on surveys across high volume routes of India with special focus on 2 high volume routes- Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Bangalore. The project was commissioned a year back. To compare the route statistics with 2008-09 and 2011-12 survey on Delhi-Bangalore Highway on an average the toll stoppage delay is 67% with an increase of 18% from the last survey report of 2008-2009. The report also estimates that the annual cost to such delays to the economy has increased to Rs. 40 billion as compare to 30 billion. 

The survey revealed that on Delhi-Mumbai Highways it took approximately 3 days to cover a distance of 1,380 kilometers at an average speed of 17 km per hour. The annual cost of such delays to the economy was to the time of Rs. 30 billion. The study also reveals that though India’s road freight volumes are increasing at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.08% and the population of vehicles (all types) is increasing at a CAGR of 10.76%, the road length is increasing at a CAGR of only 4.01%, indicating the paucity of roads. 

The Indian Trucking sector contributes about 4.5-5% of India’s GDP and is the lifeline to the country’s economy, transporting goods from one point to another on a 24/7 basis. However, even though India has one of the highest road densities in the world, growth in road lengths has not been commensurate with the growths in freight and vehicular traffic, resulting in congestion, long delays and substantial costs to the environment and the economy. 

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