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A massive infrastructure push expected in Railways, Highways and Aviation under Modi 3.0 according to the Exit Polls 2024

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NEW DELHI : As exit polls signal the return of the Modi government, the three infrastructure sectors—Railways, Highways, and Aviation—are expected to remain the top priority for the government in its third term with industry players expecting huge investment opportunities.

In the last two terms of the government under Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, National Highways have seen 60 percent expansion with an increase in length from 91,287 km in 2014 to 146,145 km by the end of 2023. The stretch of four-lane and higher national highways has expanded from 18,387 km in 2014 to 46,179 km by the end of 2023.

The Indian Railways, known as the lifeline of the country, carried around 5.85 billion passengers in FY23, and has seen a massive modernisation push under the Modi government with the introduction of Vande Bharat, a semi-high speed train, in several sectors across the country. The aviation sector has also recorded an upward trend with the modernisation of airports and several smaller cities coming on the country’s aviation map.

The experts hope the infrastructure sectors will get a further push if the government comes back to power. “The exit polls show that the BJP is coming back with a massive mandate from the people of India. We are hopeful that it will fast-track infrastructure development. The industry hopes that in Q2FY25, there will be a huge pipeline of projects in the highways sector with the government looking for bigger private player participation,” said a major construction player.

There was a slowdown in highway projects being awarded in Q1FY25 after the model code of conduct came into effect in March. This number is expected to pick up from July.

“The industry is hopeful that bidding and awarding activities will pick up after the conclusion of ongoing General Elections and a large number of projects would be awarded during FY25,” said Yogesh Kumar Jain, MD of PNC Infratech Limited, in an investor call on May 25.

The railway sector will also likely see more contracts for Vande Bharat and other track capacity augmentation in the coming months. The government plans to take the number of Vande Bharat trains from around 90 now to 800 by 2030. Experts say that the number could be achieved earlier, considering that several state and private production units are upgrading their facilities to mass produce these modernised coaches.

The BJP manifesto for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections presents the proposed infrastructure expansion plan under the Modi government. Modernising infrastructure is a key pillar of this expansion plan with more bullet train projects, access control speed highways and the development of India as an international aviation hub.

“We have developed and manufactured world-class Vande Bharat, Amrit Bharat and Namo Bharat trains. We will further expand this network of new-age trains. We will launch Vande Sleeper trains for a comfortable overnight journey. Regional connectivity programs will be launched in other major cities to ensure robust connectivity and integrate the regional economies,” highlighted the party manifesto.

In the aviation sector, the aviation ministry is working on a master plan to transform airports into regional international hubs, providing single-point connectivity to designated regions worldwide. Better air connectivity, upgraded passenger amenities and modern airports are also on the list of the master plan.

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