It was estimated that an infrastructure investment of $US4.5 trillion will be needed by 2040 to keep up with the increase in population in India. This is when India’s infrastructure industry was devastated due to Covid 19 hitting across the country. The initial months of Covid 19, consisting of lock-down, lack of availability of labourers and halting of infrastructure developments caused severe damage to the entire Indian economy, including the infrastructure industry. Majority of the infrastructure projects were put on hold during this period.
Impact of Covid 19 on India’s Infrastructure
The devastating effects of the global pandemic hit India’s infrastructure industry twofold. First, the national lockdown and micro lockdowns announced in India to obtain the covid virus caused significant damage to the infrastructure sector. Secondly, the pandemic caused serious challenges to health systems infrastructures including lack of oxygen tanks, nebulisers and hospital beds.
Covid 19 virus caused havoc in the Infrastructure sector. Multinational firms halted major investments in India. There were major interruptions to investment processes and procurement. Infrastructure projects relying on single-source supply chains were completely stopped. Supply chains and logistics including the delivery of essential goods were the most impacted due to lockdowns, lack of manpower, health and safety checks and delays in vaccination of labourers.
How India’s Infrastructure has Changed with Covid 19?
SMEs and larger companies suffered a massive setback due to the global pandemic of Covid19. However, things have started to pick up pace, and infrastructure development projects are in full swing. The government has shifted its focus back from providing covid care and vaccines to aggressive but steady growth of India’s infrastructure industry.
Since last year, India has completely revamped its infrastructure to build more pandemic resilience and backing up to ‘soft’ infrastructure. The transportation sector of the country has also completely transformed. Education continuity was ensured by the introduction of online teaching websites and apps. Airport operators who suffered reduced earnings during the covid time are seeing a higher demand for air travel.
1. Strengthening of the Healthcare Sector
With Covid 19, most healthcare sectors of the country completely shut down for an entire year. An immediate impact of Covid19 was the impact on India’s healthcare infrastructure and healthcare value chains, rendering it almost useless. Healthcare professionals and workers left their jobs, depriving hospitals of proper medical services.
The government has decided to come back from this situation to give a new boost to the healthcare sector. Telehealth, teleconsultation with doctors and telemedicine solutions were announced to provide treatment through online.
2. Modernization of Infrastructure
The transport sector was severely affected due to Covid 19 virus. People only travelled outside for emergency purposes and government and private jobs were changed to work from home status. Therefore, the government has decided to upgrade construction or maintenance projects on roads. The longer confinement periods during covid gave construction crews enough time to rebuild major transport construction projects.
3. Industry and Trade Sector
India has also undergone a significant change in bringing back its trade and industry sector. The Indian government has announced multiple schemes focusing towards building a more resilient infrastructure for the SMEs of the manufacturing sector and provision of grants or payment waivers for the public and the private sector. Communication services have seen an increase in demand during the covid time. New infrastructure was built to ensure internet connectivity and mobile bandwidth.
According to experts, India will need a lot more months or maybe years to make a fully-fledged comeback from this severe disruption caused by Covid19. From healthcare, manufacturing to the service sector, the Indian government is taking adequate measures to support the industries to make them more resilient.