The Indian State Falls Behind, and Indian Businesses Eagerly Take the Lead

The Indian State Falls Behind, and Indian Businesses Eagerly Take the Lead

The rail systems in India carry coal, but are too small and slow to bring in the quantity needed to make the kind of difference that Adani can. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/malawirail/3114751093/sizes/m/in/photostream/">degahk (flickr)</a>
The rail systems in India carry coal, but are too small and slow to bring in the quantity needed to make the kind of difference that Adani can. Photo: degahk (flickr)

When the government fails to provide, the savvy entrepreneur fills the gaps—but not without criticism.

India’s government has long failed to keep up with its own rapid development, leaving rural regions without electricity despite abundant coal reserves. Gautam Adani, an Indian entrepreneur, stepped up to develop the much-needed electrical infrastructure that encourages India’s growth, says a recent New York Times article.

His operation is far from homegrown. His coal mines are based in Indonesia and Australia and his transport ship is Korean-made. His ability to tap into the global market allows him to do what the government can’t, faster and cheaper than it could.

This global approach allowed Adani to circumvent logistical and political barriers within India. The rail system is ill equipped to transport coal, the New York Times reported, and mining requires uprooting protected forest areas and tribal groups, something politicians are hesitant to permit.

But despite the development, local fishermen argue that Adani may have done more harm than good. He has brought in few jobs and is blamed for the depletion of sea life essential to the region's economy.

India’s rural poor may have electricity now, but many remain skeptical that it came at too high a cost.

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