The Indian Economy Blog

November 22, 2005

Ten Billion Dollars

Filed under: Infrastructure — Amit Varma @ 7:19 pm

That’s the amount of money that is going to spent on revamping India’s airports and building new ones in the next four years, according to this report. I hope most of it comes from private investment, which is always more efficient than government spending, and I think it would be money well spent.

Why so? Well, because of the halo effect. Airports are the entry point of many people into a city, and even the country, and inform their first impressions of it. Give them a neat, ultra-modern, comfortable airport, and you’ve already brought them closer to doing business here, or investing here, or even just spending time (and thereby money) here. If you want India Shining, you’ve got to get the airports shining first. Right now, we have neither.


  1. If they could get the air conditioning to work reliably and efficiently in the international arrivals areas in Indian airports, half the battle would be won :-)

    Comment by Rangachari Anand — November 22, 2005 @ 8:05 pm

  2. Does it sound too good to be true? He is saying that Air India and Indian Airlines are going to go public in the next 5 years. After so many years of failing to get privatised, what makes you think that they are going to succeed in taking it public, all of a sudden, in a matter of 5 years?

    I like the way these ministers throw big numbers at us. It does make for good sound bites, but that’s all they are. Sound bites. I will believe it when I see it.

    Sorry to be so skeptical. Have heard this music before, and it ain’t melodious :-)

    Comment by USC Trojan — November 23, 2005 @ 8:42 am

  3. [...] ntives For Good Behaviour
    November 23rd, 2005 by Amit Varma

    In response to my post on airports, reader Ila Bhatt writes in: The next time i read an article/blog/c [...]

    Pingback by The Indian Economy Blog » Blog Archive » Incentives For Good Behaviour — November 23, 2005 @ 12:24 pm

  4. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is a case where the airports really need $20 billion, and will end up receiving only $5 billion.

    The only airport plan I like is Hyderbad’s – The airport has layed out a solid plan for continuous expansion that will ensure it’s sustainability for 30 years easily. 40 million passengers is a good estimate for the future for a (relatively) smaller city. I’m not really sure but from some of the renderings it seems like the airport can even claim some more land around it to build two more runways (I could be wrong about that one though) if necessary.

    However, Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai Kolkata need new airports. Crisscrossing runways cannot handle tens of million sof passengers that are expected in the near future. I guess a temporary renovation is a decent start but its no solution and the clock is ticking. I bet if there was a half-way decent airport at Mumbai and Delhi passenger movement could be 17,18 million + instead of the current 14,11 million. I know everybody hates driving two hours to get to the airport, but unfortuantely that is the price the must be paid now unless Mumbai and Delhi want to operate dual airports like Chicago or Tokyo. But world class airports need to be built with potential capacities of 100 million by 2050 and it seems to me the only way to do it is by starting from scratch. Either spend two hours drivign to the airport or spend two hours waiting in a delay, pick your poison.

    Comment by AK — November 24, 2005 @ 12:52 pm

  5. Check out this column by Karan Thapar in the Hindustan Times on the BJP, JD(U) and other political parties fielding criminals as candidates in the Bihar elections. One explanation could be that the ruling rival political parties (i.e. Laloo and company) file cases against political opponents, to make them look as bad as themselves. I, for one, don’t believe that Nitish and gang are as lily white and blameless:,00300002.htm

    Mirror, mirror on the wall…

    This week, we have a telling portrait of the Bihar elections and it’s not a pretty picture. The Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), under its coordinator Bibhu Mohapatra, has released a comprehensive analysis of candidates with pending criminal cases. It’s horrifying.

    There are 2,135 candidates standing in the four phases of the Bihar elections. Leaving out the non-serious, the dummies and a few hopeless Independents, ADR has analysed the remaining 1,607. Of these 446, or 28 per cent, have been charged with criminal cases ranging from murder and rape to unlawful assembly and creating a public nuisance.

    This time, the big five — BJP, JD(U), RJD, INC and LJP — have put up a higher percentage of candidates accused of crimes. In February, it was around 37 per cent. Now it’s risen to almost 40. And the BJP indisputably tops the list. In ascending order, 32 per cent of Congress candidates, 37 per cent of LJP, 39 per cent of JD(U) and 42 per cent of RJD face criminal cases. The BJP comes in at 49 per cent. So now we know what the BJP means when it calls itself a party with a difference! [read further on the HT website]

    Comment by Arjun Saxena — November 27, 2005 @ 10:57 pm

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