Chapter-8                                                 Infrastructure




            It means the facilities, activities and services, which give support to the operation and development of other sectors of the economy.


            Economic Infrastructure – Economic Infrastructure refers to the all such elements of economic change which serves as a foundation for the process of economic growth example power, transport and communication.  All those services which influence the production and distribution systemform within.

            Social Infrastructure – It refers to the elements of social change which serves as a foundation for the process of social development of a country example school, colleges, hospitals etc. health, and housing. It influences production and distribution system from outside.


  • Low priority in plans – Development of infrastructure never received its due significance in the formulation of 5 year plans.
  • Huge Requirement in Investment that too in terms of fixed cost however the government’s investment in infrastructure is inadequate.
  • Long Gestation Period- Investment in infrastructure requires involves a long gestation period i.e. a time gap between investment and how of revenue from investment.
  • Exclusion of private sector – Infrastructure development is assigned to the public sector. But public sector has always shown a bank repay on the other hand, private sector is excluded from till very recent past.




It is the most important component of economic infrastructure.  Following are the sources of energy.

  • Commercial and Non – commercial sources of energy –

Commercial sources are coal, petroleum and electricity as they are bought and sold.  They have a price and have an established place for sale and purchase.

Non-commercial sources of energy are firewood, agricultural waste and dried dang.  It is used for domestic use and in rural areas.

Commercial Source of EnergyNon-CommercialSources of Energy

  1. Components are coal, petroleum products, Components are firewood, agricultural

electricity.                                                            waste and animal waste.

  1. It is used for industrial and commercial It is used for domestic and –

use                                                                       consumption purpose.

  1. Goods of commercial energy have a Goods of these energy does not have

Market and these goods command price             any market and produced by the

villagers for their own use.


Conventional sources of energy are those which are not environment friendly example coal, petroleum natural gas etc.

Non-conventional sources of energy are those which do not contribute to the environment pollution important sources of non – conventional energy are –

  • Solar energy
  • Wind energy
  • Geothermal energy
  • Bio energy



Primary sources of energy are those which are available to us as a free gift of nature and which do not need any transformation before they are used as a source of energy.

Final sources of energy are those where energy is used as a final product example electricity or power.



  • Pattern of energy consumption- At presentabout 40 percent of the energy consumed is taken from non commercial sources of energy. Also the energy consumption of cities is 10 times than that of rural area. It is necessary to actions over the pattern of energy consumption and makes regular changes in it.
  • Energy crises- The consumption of energy is increasing due to the adoption of new technologies and new pattern of living. But the production of energy does not match the consumption. This has created a wide gap in the demand and supply of energy giving rise to energy crises.
  • Energy conservation- It is necessary to take appropriate techniques and technologies and also change in the pattern of the life style to save as much energy as possible.
  • Depending on non renewable sources of energy- Dependency on non renewable sources of energy is increasing these days like oil. Gas etc. It may create problem for the future generation. It is therefore essential to pay attention on renewable sources of energy.



Electricity is one of the most important components of infrastructure that determines the economic development of a country. It plats an important role in commercial and non commercial use.

            Generation of electricity-   It is generated in 3 forms-

→When power is generated by coal it is known as thermal power

→When power is generated by waves of fast flowing water on high dams it is known as hydro electric power

→When power is generated by radioactive elements ii is known as nuclear power or atomic power.


Challenges or problems faced by electricity sector

Following points shows how electricity is an emerging challenge in India –

  • Power shortage-India has faced power shortage because of the following two reasons
  1. Continuous rise in the demand for power
  2. Less generation and distribution of power
  • Plant load factor- PLF is an important measure on operational efficiency in thermal power plant. It requires improvement in our country. There are wide differences in PLF among different states in our country.
  • Transmission and distribution losses- It means electricity produced is not paid off. The T&D losses are rising in India especially in Delhi and Jammu and Kashmir. The main reason for T&D are-
  1. Improper load management
  2. Long transmission and distribution lines.
  3. Theft of energy
  4. Inappropriate size of conductors

To reduce T&D losses distribution work is being made privatized.

  • Power grids-Electricity generation plant may be situated at a particular place and its consumption at far off place. Under such a situation, electricity transition has to take place at a long distance. There is no coordination between power generation and transmission work. Also transmission lines are overloaded lading to breakdowns and loss of power in the country.
  • Electricity in rural areas- rural electrification is very important for rural development to take place. More than 77 thousands villages are still need to be electrified. It was committed that village electrification will be done by 2007 but still the work is left.




  • Increase the production capacity – Production capacity of power stations should be increased to increase the supply of electricity.
  • Plant should be properly utilized.
  • Losses in transmission and distribution of electricity must be controlled.



Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well being.



Good health has the following importance –

(1)        It helps to increase the overall efficiency to handle the difficult task.

(2)        It helps to increase the productivity of the labour

(3)        Increase in mental abilities

Development of health facilities in India

  • Decline in death rate- death rate has declined from 30 per thousand in 1951 to 8 per thousand in 2000-01
  • Reduction in infant mortality rate- IMR(relating to the death of the infants up to the age of 1)  has reduced from 147 per thousand in 1951 to 7 per thousand I 2001
  • Rise in average expectancy of life- average expectancy in life has risen from 60 years in 1951 to 64 years in 2001.


State of health infrastructure :

  • There has been significant expansion in physical provision of healthservices and improvements in health indicators since independence.
  • Public health system and facilities are not sufficient for bulk of thepopulation.
  • There is a wide gap between rural urban areas and between poor andrich in utilising health care facilities.
  • Women’s health across the country has become a matter of great concernwith reports of increasing cases of female foeticide and mortality.
  • Regulated private sector health services can improve. The situation andat the same time, NGOs and community participation are very importantin providing health care facilities and reading health awareness.
  • Indian system of medicine (ISDM) AYUSH (Ayurveda, yoga andnaturopathy, unani, siddha, homoeopathy needs to be explored.



Due to improving access and utilization of health services with special focus on under privileged section of the society there has been a substantial improvement in the health indices of the population and a steep decline in the mortality. But following observations highlight the deficiencies of our social infrastructure in terms of health facilities.

  • Unequal distribution of health care facilities- Distribution of health care facilities is extremely unequal across rural and urban areas. A majority of the government and private sector hospitals are located in urban areas. This is because of the simple reason of inability to pay in rural areas.
  • Communicable diseases- communicable diseases like AIDS, HIV are increasing for which there is no therapy. Poor sanitation, poor liquid and solid waste management and overcrowding have led to the rise in communicable diseases.
  • Privatization – The government is gradually moving towards privatization of health care services. As a result the health care is becoming expensive and out of the reach of millions in India.
  • Poor sanitation facilities- The condition of the sanitation facilities is poor both in urban and rural areas. Rapid urbanization and industrialization have increased the problems for these health facilities. Sanitation infrastructure has two main functions
  • To make clean surrounding in living and working places and also in institutional areas.
  • To arouse awareness of sanitation among the masses and encourage participation in awareness programme.
  • Poor upkeep and maintenance- Upkeep and maintenance of government health care centre are really poor. The quality difference between public and private hospitals is so high that people are compelled to depend on private treatment, even when not affordable.


Need and Importance of Infrastructure

  • Efficient utilization of country’s resources – Infrastructure helps in better utilization of country’s resources like agricultural land can be better utilized with the help of irrigation facilities raw material etc and industrial capacity with the help of transport, communication land power facilities and country’s labour force with the help of education, health etc.
  • Efficiency and Mobility of labour – Efficiency of labour increases due to education, training and health facilities. Transport facilities make it possible for the workers to go to the distant places for work.  It increases their mobility.
  • Supply of Finance – Supply of finance for the economic development is made easier because of infrastructure. If the monetary and financial institutions are properly developed in the country the various sectors of the economy can get finance easily.
  • Rural Development – Without infrastructure, rural development cannot be enhancing. If there is a sufficient arrangement of irrigation facilities and power in time, and farmers get finance in time it will increase the agricultural production.