20 January, 2023 |

Policy

Gati Shakti Yojana: Development in the Sector of Infrastructure in India.

PM Narendra Modi declared from the Red Fort on the eve of India's 75th Independence Day that the government will launch the 'PM Gati Shakti Master Plan,' an INR 100 lakh-crore project to build 'holistic infrastructure in India.

Since 2014, when Shri Narendra Modiji took office as Prime Minister of India, intending to create a self-sufficient nation where all segments of society have access to basic amenities, the speed and scale of development have become a hallmark of a new rising India.

With a motto of "Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas" and the goal of making India a $5 trillion economy by 2024-25, this government wanted to scale much higher heights with improved coordination and synergies between Union Ministries and state governments.

Hon'ble Prime Minster launched the 'PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan' in 2021. More 'Shakti' was to be given to the infrastructure sector in order to build a new India. "With Aatmanirbhar Bharat's determination, the foundation of India for the next 25 years is being laid." "Not only have we founded a work culture of successful task completion on time, but we also intend to complete projects ahead of schedule," the Hon'ble PM stated.

It also demonstrated India's determination to make rapid progress after a geopolitical crisis and pandemic that disrupted all developmental activities in the country. This Grand Plan, as conceived by the Hon'ble Prime Minister, aims to transform India into a developed nation within the next 25 years. It is essentially a digital platform that brings together 16 Union Ministries, including my Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, to coordinate the planning and implementation of infrastructure connectivity projects for comprehensive and inclusive socioeconomic progress in various parts of the country, particularly all aspirational districts, tribal belts, hill areas, and the North-Eastern Region.

In recent years, the government has ensured an unprecedented focus on infrastructure through a holistic approach. This assisted in addressing previous issues by institutionalizing holistic planning for stakeholders in major infrastructure projects. Instead of planning and designing in silos, projects will be designed and executed on a single platform with a shared vision under this National Master Plan.

The 'Gati Shakti' scheme is based on the government's goal of creating a digital platform that promises "integrated planning and coordinated execution" by sixteen ministries. Each ministry and government department will have access to information about current and upcoming projects, allowing for a more balanced and synchronized approach. It will bring together government departments such as railways, roads, highways, and many others under one umbrella. In this era of Geo-Satellite imagery and Big Data, land and logistics plans would be efficiently realized on the ground.

Six Pillars of Gati Shakti Yojana: Dynamic:- Even if the end goal is to be achieved through inter-departmental coordination, the Gati Shakti scheme will ensure that similar projects maintain a basic level of commonality. For example, the Ministry of Roads and Transport has already begun to acquire 'Utility Corridors' along with new national highways and expressways. So that optical fibre cables, telephones, and power cables can be installed while the expressways are being built. Furthermore, digitization will significantly ensure timely clearances, identify potential issues, and monitor projects.

Comprehensiveness:- The Gati Shakti program represents a paradigm shift in decision-making to break down departmental silos. All existing and proposed economic zones and multimodal connectivity infrastructure are mapped in a single digital platform in the proposed plan. The National Master Plan will use cutting-edge technology and IT tools to coordinate infrastructure planning. One such example is a GIS-based Enterprise Resource Planning system with 200+ layers for evidence-based decision-making.

Analytical:- Since 2014, India has completed numerous infrastructure projects that various government departments have prioritized. This has only occurred due to digital platforms for online access to all documents. For example, the Railways has launched a 'Common Drawing Approval System' online, allowing all approvals to be accessed through a single portal. The Indian Railways' initiative has yielded excellent results by ensuring that approvals take no more than 90 days, as opposed to more than 180 days previously. Even for environmental clearances, which used to take more than two years, online portals have been developed and can now be completed in a matter of weeks or months.

Prioritization:- There would be no more fragmented decision-making; each department would collaborate to build the desired industrial network. If a rail network connects a district to a city, it is the responsibility of the allied departments to ensure last-mile connectivity. Priority will be given to departments leading the project first, such as laying the underground gas pipeline before finishing the road.

Synchronization:- It is not easy to create an efficient, seamless multi-modal transportation network. It necessitates close coordination and collaboration among independent government departments, guided by an overarching master plan. The Ministries of Road, Transport and Highways, Commerce and Industry, Ports, Shipping, Waterways and Ayush, Civil Aviation, Power, New, and Renewable Energy, Railways, Communications, Electronics and Information Technology, Petroleum and Natural Gas, and Housing and Urban Affairs will all work together.

Optimization:- Before beginning the development of a project, the necessary facilities should be ensured. For example, a fertilizer plant may have been built, but a gas pipeline is inaccessible, preventing it from reaching its full production potential. As a result, the funds raised for the project would not impact the average person. Key conditions include an efficient logistics network and manufacturing economies of scale. To be globally competitive, industrial and logistics parks must expand in size. The National Industrial Corridor Development Corporation (NICDC), formerly DMIDC, will develop these industrial corridors in close collaboration with state governments. State governments must take the lead in identifying land parcels for industrialization in accordance with the national plan to reap the benefits of job growth.

According to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Gati Shakti plan will help raise India's global profile, strengthen our domestic manufacturers, and allow passengers to travel quickly from one location to another, becoming a driving factor for our exports. It also opens the door to new long-term economic zones.

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