Growth stories from Gujarat

By 2000, Gujarat was already an industrially well-developed state. According to data published in the state's Socio-Economic Review, 2011-2012, road infrastructure statistics suggest that very little was added to road length since 2002. It was 74,018 km, counting all types of roads, in 2002, and it was 74,117 km in 2009. About 5,000 km of road was tarred during 2000-10, compared to 23,000 km during 1990-2001. The length of state highway decreased and that of the national highway, a Government of India project, increased from 2,382 to 3,245 km. The vehicles on the road also tell a similar story. Two-wheelers, cars, jeeps, passenger buses and cargo vehicles increased faster during the 1980-90 and 1990-2000 periods, compared to 2000-10. During 1980-90, two wheelers increased 5.2 times, during 1990-2000, 2.92 times, and during 2000-10, 2.37 times. In 1980, there were 2.41 lakh two-wheelers, followed by 36.73 and 99.61 lakh in 2000 and 2010 respectively. Similarly, cars grew by 2.68 times during 1980-90, 2.81 times during 1990-2000, 2.65 times during 2000-2010. Their numbers were 0.53 lakh in 1990, 3.98 lakh in 2000 and 13.04 lakh in 2010. Jeeps and private passenger buses have replaced the Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation buses. Cargo vehicles show the same trend as two-wheelers and cars.

Gujarat is better placed when it comes to the power sector. As the socio-economic review also shows, distribution has improved remarkably in the last 10 years. However, the growth in installed capacity and generation has been higher during 1990-2000 than 2000-2010, including participation from the private sector. The installed capacity increased from 4,823 MW in 1990 to 8,343 MW in 2000 (1.73 times), to 12,008 MW in 2010 (1.44 times). Generation was 22,834 MW in 1990 and increased to 49,379 in 2000 (2.2 times), to 69,883 MW in 2010 (1.41 times).

One can thus see that Gujarat's growth performance was better during 1990-2000 than 2000-2010. Then why is 2001-12 being given all the credit as a model of growth? Partly, this is a matter of visibility. Construction has boomed. There is a huge number of vehicles on the road. Flashy shopping malls, fancy homes, and a variety of cars are to be seen. The hospitality industry has exploded. Hotels and restaurants have visibly mushroomed. The more affluent display their wealth. There is great publicity and fanfare, which has created an impression of high growth.

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