The Digital India vision of PM Narendra Modi seems to be floundering as his plan of empowering people with I-ways, is falling weak. According to the target set by the Government of India for 2014-15, 50,000 villages were to be connected through a national optic fibre network by the end January. However, only 12% of the target has been met.
As reported by the ET, the Government has delivered results across the power sector, highway and port projects. Modi had pledged to build I-ways and highways in his Independence day address. And soon after publicly announcing his plans, he had set well-defined targets for ministries in charge of physical connectivity (ports, airports, railways, roads), digital connectivity (telecom) and energy (power and renewable energy ministries).
In the last review by the Government, a major area of concern identified was, the 1,800-km Western Dedicated Freight Corridor, the commissioning date of which has slipped by another year, from December 2018 to December 2019. Similarly, four public sector energy projects of about 1,900 MW have been deferred; the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant project being one of them. At a review meeting in December 2014, Modi expressed concern about 620-odd central sector projects worth lakhs of crores of rupees running behind schedule.
At a recent conference in held in February, the Prime Minister was informed that around 500 of the delayed projects have been assessed, out of which 278 are of railways. Nevertheless, at the same meeting, Modi was informed that the first semi-high speed train from Delhi to Agra is likely to commence by the end of February. Also, railway services to Arunachal Pradesh are ready to start.