Infrastructure Plays Important Role in Chinese Development
Road Development in China
US Standard in Infrastructure Development
Infrastructure has played an important role in China’s development. China has achieved American standards in infrastructure development. Every day Chinese government spends Rs.5000 crore towards achieving this. One can assess a country’s culture, discipline and development on seeing its roads. Just look at the roads in Tamil Nadu and you can immediately say that the politicians in Tamil Nadu are looting taxpayer’s money in the name of road development. Germany is in the forefront of developing highways in the world. Even USA copied the German model of laying Autobahn that was developed during Hitler’s rule. Today China copies American model in laying roads.
Infrastructure Mitigated Ills of Great Depression
Infrastructure development including constructing highways played an important role in eradicating unemployment during the Great Depression of the thirties in USA. This scheme invited opposition from some quarters within USA as it involved lot of expenditure. At that time it was planned to lay 97000 km long roads in 17 years time. But it took 37 years to complete the plan because of many hurdles. China laid roads north-south and east-west 12 highways in less time than in USA. In India, Atal Behari Vajpayee started constructing golden corridor project. It was during Vajpayee’s rule that many highways were laid in India and infrastructure was given importance.
Road Development in China
During the last 25 years, China laid roads 85000 km long. All these roads collected toll from the vehicles. Roads connect the capital city Beijing to all the provincial capitals. All cities with a population of 5 lakh and above are well connected with Beijing. Chinese government derives a large income from the toll collected from vehicles passing through these roads. 70% of the roads in the world functioning through toll are in China. China has the advantage of acquiring the required land for this purpose as it is a totalitarian government unlike India. There are no court stay orders or other interruptions in China. Therefore work is completed without any delay.
Chinese roads are not only used for business development and transport but also for trade with neighbouring nations. China has signed transport and communication agreements with ten of its border nations. Some of these countries are Russia, Mongolia, Laos, Vietnam and Thailand. 60 entrance gates have been constructed and 140 routes have been created for transport with Border States. Passengers and goods are carried on through these routes. China has constructed roads even in the Border States at its own expense. As trade has increased, this expenditure is worth incurring. Lakhs of people have secured employment from this scheme. Chinese government has planned to spend $150 billion to raise the quality of all the highways by 2020.
Railway Development in China
China is also concentrating on raising railway transport quality. Railways were introduced in India in 1853 by the then British Governor General Lord Dalhousie. The first train route was laid between Bombay and Thane. China saw its first railway route twenty years later. Britain operated it. At first the Chinese government allowed British to lay railway tracks. Later on it backtracked and said that laying of railway tracks was a sin against God. It dismantled all the railway tracks and threw it in the sea near Taiwan. China realised the importance of railways much later. When Communist Party of China came to power in 1949, China had 28000 km long railway tracks. At that time India had 50000 km long railway tracks. During last 20 years, China spends heavily and laid railway tracks 91000 km long. 24 lakh people travel in trains in China daily by sitting and another 6 lakh people travel by standing. Railway employees in China can deposit a certain amount with the government. They are then given a target to achieve in their jobs. If they achieve it, their money will be returned doubled. If they don’t, they stand to lose their money.
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