President Urges Holistic Approach to Transportation for Economic Growth and Sustainability

In a compelling address to the probationers of the Indian Railways on September 15, 2023, President Droupadi Murmu emphasized the imperative need for India to adopt an efficient multi-modal transport system. She stressed that the integration of rail, road, air, and water transportation should be approached holistically rather than in isolation.

India’s railways, often described as the nation’s social lifeline, were at the forefront of President Murmu’s speech. She passionately expressed that the railways carry the aspirations and dreams of ordinary citizens and symbolize the country’s incredible diversity. To unlock India’s true potential, she asserted that the time has come to synergize various modes of transportation.

President Murmu challenged the probationers to collaborate effectively with officers from other departments, emphasizing that this synergy is crucial for realizing the vision of an “atmanirbhar” (self-reliant) and developed nation. She underscored that technological changes are happening at an unprecedented pace and scale, urging officers to work collectively to make the railways a future-ready organization.

Notably, President Murmu commended the railways’ efforts to become more fuel-efficient and adopt innovative, eco-friendly solutions. She highlighted that railway infrastructure development significantly contributes to the country’s socio-economic growth and overall development.

One prominent initiative President Murmu lauded is the redevelopment of railway stations under the ‘Amrit Bharat Station scheme,’ employing green technology and adding world-class amenities. She described this as a people-centric endeavor that promises to invigorate tourism activities and spur economic progress.

Benefits of an Efficient Multi-Modal Transport System in India:

  1. Improved Connectivity and Accessibility: The integration of transportation modes will enhance the movement of people and goods, particularly benefiting rural and remote areas.
  2. Reduced Congestion and Pollution: Such a system will alleviate traffic congestion and reduce pollution, leading to improved air quality and more livable cities.
  3. Increased Economic Growth: The system will facilitate smoother business operations and create job opportunities in the transportation and logistics sector.
  4. Reduced Environmental Impact: Promoting sustainable transportation modes like rail and public transport will lower the environmental footprint of India’s transportation sector.

Challenges to Developing an Efficient Multi-Modal Transport System in India:

  1. Fragmented Transportation System: India’s transportation is currently managed by various ministries and departments, causing fragmentation and coordination issues.
  2. Lack of Investment: Developing transportation infrastructure requires substantial investments, which can be a challenge given India’s limited resources.
  3. Institutional Challenges: India must establish robust institutions to regulate and manage the multi-modal transport system efficiently.

While challenges abound, President Murmu’s call to action underscores the urgency of developing an efficient multi-modal transport system in India. The government has already initiated projects like the Bharatmala Pariyojana and Sagarmala Pariyojana, but more concerted efforts are needed to integrate transportation modes and create seamless corridors for the nation’s progress.