Better road and rail connectivity helps Rajasthan to develop itself as a modern, progressive state. Millions of foreigners who flock to this heritage state to witness the colourful festivals, fairs and royal palaces find commuting a joyful experience as road transport is cheap and effective.
But still there are remote desert and far-flung areas in state which clamour for better facilities like roads, transport services, hospitals and schools to meet their daily needs. The government is trying it best to rope in private players and investors to develop the infrastructure space which has seen robust growth in recent years.
But much more needs to be done in terms of social infrastructure like hospitals, schools and better roads in rural hinterland which will empower the villagers from their own place of birth. Hence, infrastructure projects need to shift its focus to rural landscape in order to arrest the steady flow of migrants to cities. Also, better social facilities will enable the villagers lead a decent livelihood through a steady source of income.
As in December 2014, Rajasthan had 7,309.68 km of national highways. The state had 11,880.67 km of state highways, 9,540.42 km of major district roads, 29,216.17 km of other district roads and 1,47,05,647 km of village roads as of December 2014. The total road length was around 2,05,003.41 km as of December 2014. As on December 2014, the road density was 59.90 km per 100 sq. km.
Under various schemes, such as the Missing Link Project, Pradhan Mantri Gram SadakYojana (PMGSY) and Central Road Fund, new roads are being constructed to link villagesacross the state.
As in August, 2015, Rajasthan has a total railway network spanning 5,870.38 km, of which 4,801.18 km was covered under broad gauge, 983.71 km under meter gauge and 86.76 km under narrow gauge.
The state government has undertaken the development of a Metro Rail Urban Transport Project in Jaipur. Phase-1-A (Mansarovar to Chandpole – 12.1 km): In 2010, JMRC entered into an agreement with DMRC for Phase-1-A development on deposit work basis, encompassing 9.7 km.
With majority of the Phase 1-A work completed, trial runs have been initiated in one stretch. Phase-1-B (Chandpole to Badi Chaupar): It is proposed to be developed by JMRC on itsown or through DMRC. Phase II (Ambabari to Sitapura – 23.1 km): Phase II is proposed to be developed on aPPP model.
Rajasthan has a fully operational international airport in Jaipur, with flights toDubai, Sharjah, Bangkok and Singapore. According to the 2015-16 Budget, $4.97 million would be invested for the development of existing airstrips. In 2014-15, Jaipur airport handled 21,97,959 passengers, 3,259 tonnes of cargo and 19,852 aircraft movements.
The domestic airports are located in Jodhpur, Udaipur, Jaisalmer and Kota. The Airports Authority of India plans to operate civil airports in Jaisalmer and Bikaner. AAI further plans to open an airport at Sawai Madhopur.
The construction of an airport in Kishangarh has started in July 2013. An air cargo complex in Jaipur and Inland Container Depots (ICDs) in Jaipur, Jodhpur, Bhilwara and Bhiwadi facilitate trade within and outside India.
As on May 2015, Rajasthan had a total installed power generation capacity of 16,285.40 MW. This comprised 6,205.61 MW under state owned projects, 2,521.39 MW under centralsector projects and 7,558.40 MW under private sector projects.
As of May 2015, the capacity owned by state utilities comprised 74% of coal-basedpower plants, 9.7% of gas-based power plants, 15.9% of hydropower plants and0.4% of renewable resources.
Private sector controlled capacity is based on renewable energy and coal based power plants which accounted for 57.7% and 42.2% of the total capacity under the sectorrespectively. Renewable energy sources such as wind power, solar energy and biomass are being actively promoted by the state government.
Rajasthan Renewable Energy Corporation Ltd (RREC) is the nodal agency for the development of energy from renewable energy sources in the state.
Wind energy potential is estimated at 5,400 MW. Three wind farm projects by the ministry of new renewable energy (MNRE) with a total capacity of 6.35 MW are installed in Jaisalmer, Phalodi and Devgarh.
Up to December 2014, 3,065.545 MW capacity of wind power has been installed worth $2.79 billion.
Main sources of biomass energy in Rajasthan are – mustard husk and Julie flora. Biomass is a versatile and clean energy source that reduces greenhouse gas emissions. During 2014-15, eleven biomass-based power plants with a generation capacity of 114.3 MW had been commissioned in the state up to December 2014.
Various incentives, such as accelerated depreciation, concessional duties and tax holidays, are being offered for the biomass power sector, thereby bolstering its growth.
The RREC scheme’s objective is to promote solar photovoltaic (SPV) technology in remote areas. RREC is installing a domestic lighting system, street lighting systems and solar pump sets with subsidy support from various government agencies.
A total of 1,50,872 domestic lighting systems have been installed in the state until December 2014.
Raj West Power Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of JSW Energy Limited, has set up a 1,080 MW (eight units of 135 MW each) lignite-based pit head power plant in the Barmer district. The estimated project cost is $1.1 billion.
As of March 2015, 39,098 villages have received electricity, accounting for 90.4% of the total villages in Rajasthan. In February 2015, Essel Group signed an MoU with the state government to set up5,000 MW of solar park projects in Bikaner and Jaisalmer with an investment of $663.6 million.
The group will also evaluate setting up a manufacturing facility for solar PV modules going forward. In the same month, Adani Enterprises entered into a contract with Rajasthan government to develop the country’s largest solar park, with 10,000 MW capacity, over the next 10 years at an investment of $6.6 billion.
According to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), Rajasthan had nearly 55.42 million wireless subscribers and 0.81 million wire-line subscribers as of May2015. As of March 2014, the state had about 2,169 telephone exchanges and 2,275,050 broadband subscribers. As of March 2014, the state had 10,330 post offices and 265 customer service centres. Rajasthan recorded a tele-density of 75.39% as of May 2015.