Private sector urged to invest in infrastructure

August 2nd, 2008 - 1:09 am ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, Aug 1 (IANS) Urban Development Minister S. Jaipal Reddy Friday called upon the private sector to invest in the country’s infrastructure, which requires $1.5 trillion by 2017 to sustain the economic growth. The minister asked private companies to invest in transport and water supply projects in cities.

“By the end of the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17), we need $1.5 trillion in various infrastructure sectors. Thirty percent of this should come from the private sector,” he told a conclave on infrastructure, called Suminfra, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

Assuring all steps to encourage Public Private Partnership (PPP) in infrastructure projects, Reddy said the sector requires $425 billion by the end of 2010-11.

Listing out the measures taken by the government to encourage PPP, he asked the private sector to rise to the challenge.

“There is no escape from the PPP model. Our private companies have come of age. They must exploit these opportunities,” he said while noting that the government alone could not mobilise massive funds required.

Reddy said his ministry was focussing on transport projects and pointed out that metro rail projects were being taken up in Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata and Mumbai.

“We are happy with our experience in Delhi. It is one of the best metros in the world. It will be extended to Noida, Gurgaon and other cities in Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. We are also planning a Bus Rapid Transit System for Delhi as we can’t depend on one mode of transport.”

The minister said 10 other cities including Pune, Ahmedabad, Nagpur, Bhopal and Indore would also get BRTS. The foundation stone would soon be laid for the Hyderabad metro, which would be built through the PPP mode.

“Hyderabad and Mumbai metro rail projects are being taken up in PPP mode. This is an innovation at the global level because metro projects all over the world are public projects,” he said.

The minister also said that the urban authorities would have to be liberal in allowing high-rise buildings.

“Land is a scarce commodity. There is no escape from vertical growth. We should be liberal in allowing multi-storeyed buildings,” he said.

CII southern region organised the annual event Suminfra. The theme this year was ‘Challenges in fast tracking’. The policy makers and representatives of the industry would discuss issues related to infrastructure projects during the two-day conference.

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