India’s Transport And Travel

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India’s transport and travel sector has an enormous contribution of around 6% towards the nation’s gross domestic product. With the rising population, even the current level of transport and travel infrastructure seems inadequate to keep up the present rate of economic growth in India. This sector still has a lot to do when it comes to satisfying the needs of various economic and societal needs of a developing nation. India has a network of 0.66 kilometer of highways and 63, 456 kilometers of railway lines. India’s aviation sector is still in the blooming stage with a handful of private carriers and around 335 airports and 30 heliports. With just 12 major ports and poor inland waterways connectivity, the country has a long way to go in terms of efficient and profitable handling of India’s coastline and navigable rivers and canals. Better transportation facilities are imminent to satisfy the burgeoning demands of 1.1 billion strong and diverse population of India.

The policies of Indian Railways need a revision in order to make it profitable instead of being a drag on the economy as high congestion of major corridors and costly freight charges has always kept this public sector undertaking reeling under huge debt. High level of corruption is proving detrimental to the growth of roadways as even in 21st century India has only a few number of expressways around the country. The poor surface quality and non-penetration into rural areas are the major issues which need immediate solution not only to supplement the growth of India’s economy but also to provide common citizens with basic utilities. It’s been just a few years since private carriers came into the mainstream airline sector thus making the competition tighter for having a larger market-share. In such a short span, major airlines companies have managed to go bankrupt. The government instead of providing bailout is trying to make matters worse by leaving the industry on its own. The fiscal deficit created by the subsidy given for petrol and diesel is being extracted from the wallet of private airline operators. This has led to towering operational cost which is one of the major factors of near-to-bankrupt position of the airline companies. To raise up the standard of this sector faulty policies should be reformed or repealed and unfair competition should be thwarted. Over the years poor customer satisfaction has also posed as a daunting problem. Lack of accountability and poor handling of consumer cases are the primary reasons for the negligence. This malfeasance is acting as a major impediment to the pragmatic growth of transport and travel sector. This has a direct bearing on almost every other stratum of Indian economy as transportation is nodal to the augmentation of each and every sector.

Rising number of complaints against private firms like Country Club India and Cambay Holidays are the visible proofs of poor service. Fraud practices of Cambay Holidays are being reported ferociously as consumer complaints redressal websites on the internet are flooded with complaints against this firm.  They are reported to extract money from people in lieu of several promises (like membership with free holiday trips) which are not accomplished. After customers paying hefty amount of money to gain membership, no follow up actions are initiated by these companies thus leaving them knocking at the doors of consumer courts. It is a case of gross mismanagement and willful negligence which amounts to cheating and should be dealt appropriately by the consumer courts in an expeditious manner so that the fears and apprehensions of the consumers are allayed.