The Indian Prime Minister 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 construct ‘holistic infrastructure’ throughout the country.
The government’s goal with the ‘Gati Shakti’ scheme is to create a digital platform that promises “integrated planning and coordinated execution” by sixteen Ministries. For a balanced and synchronized approach, each Ministry and government department will have access to information regarding current and upcoming initiatives. It will bring together government ministries such as railways, roads and highways, and many others under one umbrella. Land and logistics plans would be realized in an efficient manner on the ground in this era of Geo-Satellite imaging and Big Data.
India is currently taking a significant move toward improving its ‘competitive index,’ by establishing a multi-modal transportation system for commuters and freight, boosting commodities exports and domestic manufacturing. Through this initiative, the government is attempting to streamline time-consuming application and approval processes, as well as the plethora of regulatory requirements. By 2024-2025, the Gati-Shakti program is structured to prioritize all–mega-infrastructure and connectivity goals. This would have multiple benefits in the economy, as it would save public income and taxes.
Under PM Modi’s leadership, the Union Government has ensured an unparalleled focus on Shakti, a new umbrella programme, several infrastructure projects would be undertaken under different ministries, such as Bharatmala, Sagarmala, inland waterways, land ports, UDAN, and so on. It is also considering the upkeep of various ‘Economic Zones,’ such as textile clusters, industrial corridors, fishing clusters, electronic parks, defence corridors, and agricultural zones, in order to improve connectivity and make Indian businesses more competitive by lowering logistics costs significantly.
The Indian government intends to make substantial use of technology, particularly spatial planning tools developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), namely BiSAG- N. (Bhaskaracharya National Institute for Space Applications and Geoinformatics). This strategy will also serve as a framework for the National Infrastructure Pipeline Plan, it has been verified.
There are six pillars that support the PM Gati Shakti Master Plan:
1) Comprehensiveness- The Gati Shakti programme represents a paradigm shift in decision-making through breaking down departmental silos. All existing and projected economic zones, as well as multimodal connection infrastructure, have been mapped in the proposed plan on a unified digital platform. The National Master Plan will use cutting-edge technology and IT technologies to coordinate infrastructure planning. One such example is a GIS-based Enterprise Resource Planning system with 200+ levels enabling evidence-based decision-making.
2) Prioritization- Decision making would no longer be fragmented; instead, each department would collaborate to build the desired industrial network. If a rail network has been built to connect a district to a city, the affiliated departments are responsible for ensuring last-mile connectivity. Prioritization will be given to the departments that must lead the project first.
3) Optimisation- Ensuring that the necessary facilities are in place prior to beginning the development of a project. Key requirements include a well-functioning logistical network and industrial economies of scale. To compete on a global scale, industrial and logistics parks must expand in size. To establish these industrial corridors, the National Industrial Corridor Development Corporation (NICDC), formerly known as DMIDC, would cooperate closely with state governments.
4) Synchronisation- Creating a reliable, smooth multimodal transportation network is a difficult endeavour. It necessitates extensive coordination and collaboration amongst autonomous government departments, coordinated by a master plan. Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Ministry of Ports, Shipping, Waterways and Ayush, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Ministry of Power, New and Renewable Energy, Ministry of Railways, Ministry of Communications, Electronics and Information Technology, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, and Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs will all work together to ensure synchronicity.
5) Analytical – Since 2014, India has seen the completion of numerous infrastructural projects that have been prioritised by various government departments. This has only occurred as a result of digital platforms that provide for online access to all papers.
6) Dynamic- Even though the end goal is to be realised by inter-departmental collaboration, the Gati Shakti plan will ensure that a basic commonality is maintained for similar initiatives. The Ministry of Road and Transport, for example, has already begun acquiring ‘Utility Corridors’ alongside new national roads and expressways. To allow for the installation of optical fibre cable, telephone, and power cables while the expressways are being built. Furthermore, digitization will play a significant role in ensuring timely clearances, identifying potential concerns, and project monitoring.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Gati Shakti initiative intends to help increase India’s worldwide profile, develop local manufacturing, and allow passengers to travel quickly from one location to another, all while boosting exports. It also opens up the possibility of other economic zones in the future.
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