In order to break inter-ministerial silos and to integrate the planning of infrastructure projects prime minister Shri. Narendra Modi launched India’s First National Infrastructure plan and that is The Pradhan Mantri Gati Shakti scheme. It was announced with an aim to break departmental silos and bring in more integrated planning of projects as well as it’s execution. In simple words, Gati Shakti scheme is a digital platform that brings 16 ministries and departments of the Government of India together. The idea is to have a coordinated implementation of infrastructure connectivity projects. According to PM Narendra Modi, the Gati Shakti plan will become the basis of India’s rejuvenation to manufacture world-class projects with new-age technology.
WHAT IS GATI SHAKTHI?
On 15th August 2021, Prime minister Narendra Modi announced the ‘ Pradhan Mantri Gati Shakti National Master Plan’. Gati is a Hindi word it means speed. And by naming it Gati Shakti the main aim is to boost economic growth through infrastructure building. Gati Shakti plans to improve productivity and employment opportunities. It is also considered an integrated approach of the government to develop railways, roadways, waterways, and airways. The Rs 100 trillion projects intend easy connectivity between road, rail, air, and waterways to reduce travel time and enhance industrial productivity. This will boost the post-pandemic economy and the country’s indigenous production of technologies to reduce dependency on other nations.
GATI SHAKTHI MASTER PLAN
This master plan will cover several economic zones and provide better connectivity and will help to improve business competitiveness. This plan also extensively leverages spatial planning tools with ISRO imagery developed by BiSAG- N ( Bhaskaracharya National Institute for Space Applications and Geoinformatics). For all infrastructure ministries, the national master plan sets targets through 2024-25.
The Ministry’s objective is to connect all state capitals in the North-east with either two or four-lane highways and to develop two lakh kilometers of national highways.
In railways, the main goal is to handle freight volumes of 1600 million tonnes by 2020 by decongesting 51 percent of the rail network which will result in adding additional lines and establishing two Dedicated Freight Corridors.
In the aviation sector, the plan is to build 109 more airports, heliports, and water aerotropolis as it wants to double its footprint to 220 airports, heliports, and water aerotropolis.
The cargo capacity of ports was expected to increase from 1282 MMTPA to 1,759 MMTPA by 2020.
The gas pipeline network will be expanded by building an additional 17,000 km long trunk pipeline to connect all major industrial demand and supply centers.
The renewable capacity will rise from 87.7GW to 225 GW and the transmission network in the power sector will also have a capacity of 4.52 lakh circuit km.
There will be a huge benefit to MSME companies because it has 11 industrial corridors and 2 defense corridors. This will dramatically boost the prospects for inclusive growth and guarantees a widespread reach of basic amenities in our country’s remotest regions.
The plan calls for achieving a defense turnover of Rs 1.7 lakh crore and having 38 electronic manufacturing clusters and 109 pharmaceutical clusters by 2024-25.
Six pillars of the plan
Pradhan Mantri Gati Shakti plan is based on six pillars.
It includes all the existing and planned initiatives of various ministries and departments with a single centralized portal. So, each department will have visibility of each other’s activities. This will help all the departments in the planning and execution of projects in a more comprehensive manner.
Through cross-sectoral interactions, different departments will be able to prioritize their projects.
Different ministries will be assisted by the National Master Plan for the planning of projects and the identification of critical gaps. For transportation of goods from one place to another this plan will help in selecting the most optimum route in terms of time and cost.
Often, individual Ministries and departments work in silos and this will lead to a lack of coordination in the planning and implementation of the project resulting in delays. This plan will synchronize the activities of each department, as well as of different layers of governance, by ensuring coordination between them in a holistic manner.
The entire data is in one place with GIS-based spatial planning and analytical tools having over 200 years which enables better visuality to the executing agency.
Now all ministries and departments will be able to visualize, review and monitor the progress of cross-sectoral projects through the GIS platform, as the entire data will be available in one place. Satellite imagery will be given on-ground progress and the progress of projects will be updated regularly. This will be a great help for identifying the vital interventions for enhancing and updating the master plan.
India has suffered for decades from multiple issues regarding infrastructure creation. One of the main reasons was a lack of coordination. If the respective departments start coordinating more frequently most of the issues will be automatically resolved. The Gati Shakti plan aims to put efforts into enhancing coordination so that all works can be done in a cooperative way between all departments and ministries. The plan will also address issues like delays in procedural approvals, multiple regulatory approvals, multiple legal clearances, etc. PM Gati Shakti will address the past issues through institutionalizing holistic planning for major infrastructure projects. Instead of separately planning the project will be designed and executed with a common vision. Since logistics costs 13 percent of GDP, this ratio reduces the competitiveness of Indian exports and India must improve its last mile connectivity by making all stakeholders work together and emerge as a game-changer.
One of the key objectives is to make products manufactured in the country more competitive by cutting down the logistics costs and improving supply chains the Gati Shakti scheme will help to attract investment from all over the world. The logistics and supply chain costs around 12 percent of GDP which is much higher compared to the global average of 8 percent. The factors that mainly leads to this is excessive dependence on transport by road, and underutilization of waterways, airways, and rail network. India’s infrastructural growth was also hampered by inter-ministerial delays, communication gaps, and approval delays between various stakeholders. The Gati Shakti plan will help various ministries to plan projects together without getting hampered. The Gati Shakti scheme is a landmark initiative and will enable coordination between different ministries, departments, and states, facilitate ease in planning and bring down the overall costs of implementation as well. This can turn out to be a game changer in the space of infrastructure development.
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