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Gati Shakti: PM’s Master Plan For India’s Growth

Launched in October 2021, Gati Shakti is a national master plan announced by the Honourable Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi. It is a revolutionary step taken by the Prime Minister to reduce the cost of logistics and improve the economy and infrastructure of the country. The Government of India plans to invest an amount of around 100 lakh crores in building holistic infrastructure through a digital platform. Furthermore, the multi-modal connectivity plan aims to increase cargo handling capacity and reduce the turnaround time.

Prime Minister Modi mentioned this on Independence Day in 2019 – as well as in 2020, indicating that this was part of his thinking. He further stated that it requires time to design a plan that efficiently executes such a massive exercise without causing any delays and cost overruns. Through this master plan, the government plans to bring the roadways and railways ministry under one roof. Thus, allowing them to work under one umbrella towards the planning and designing of infrastructure connectivity projects. Gati Shakti will provide high-resolution satellite images, world-class infrastructure, and ultimately, high-quality logistics to all stakeholders.

Significance of the Gati Shakti Plan

In India, multiple problems have been plaguing infrastructure development for decades. There was almost zero or very poor communication between the respective departments. This lack of communication was one of the primary reasons that led to the failure of many government initiatives. For example, when the government builds a road, numerous agencies start digging it again for their purposes. Connecting gas pipes, laying underground cables, laying sewage pipes – are some of the many activities that need to happen simultaneously, but don’t. This leads to wastage of vital resources and causes a lot of inconvenience to people.

If the respective departments start coordinating more frequently, it would automatically resolve most of the issues. This is where Gati Shakti hopes to make an impact and bring a positive difference in this area. The Gati Shakti plan aims to put efforts in enhancing the coordination among ministries so that all the cable, pipe, and sewage work can be done at the time of the road construction simultaneously. Furthermore, this plan will address issues like delays in approval procedures, multiple regulatory approvals, multiple legal clearances, etc.

Through institutionalizing holistic planning for multi-stakeholder infrastructure projects, Gati Shakti will resolve the past planning and implementation issues. By making all the information available on the portal through satellite imagery, Gati Shakti plans to assist departments or ministries in better planning of cross-sectoral projects, monitoring the implementation, reviewing the progress, and making course corrections if necessary. Rather than planning and executing individually, this plan pushes all the stakeholders to work together with a unified vision.

As per a survey, logistics costs 13 percent of the GDP. This ratio reduces the competitiveness of Indian exports. Therefore, India must improve its last-mile connectivity by making all the stakeholders work together and emerge as a game-changer in the infrastructure sector.

Why is infrastructure important for the growth of the economy?

Spending on infrastructure certainly brings a positive impact on the economy. It provides employment opportunities for the citizens of India and also raises the demand for raw materials required for construction. Think about the facilities it will provide to the people of the country! It will also improve multi-modal connectivity so that cargo/goods can move faster between cities or states. This step will reduce logistics costs greatly.

Rather than focusing on assertive regions only, urban clusters must be spread across the country to achieve a balanced economy. The development of infrastructure can help achieve this goal. For example, transport from the hinterlands to the ports would be efficient when roads feed railway lines, which will feed ports. Platforms like ours, Vahak, can help drive this initiative by providing state-of-the-art logistics services.

How does the Government plan on implementing the Gati Shakti Plan?

The plan involves the creation of a single platform that allows the planning and implementation of infrastructure projects. This common platform would facilitate real-time coordination between several ministries and departments. By making information more visible and accessible in real-time, there will be lesser information asymmetry between departments, lesser work in silos, and fewer delays caused by a lack of coordination between various government entities. As part of UDAN, it incorporates the many ministries’ and governments’ infrastructure schemes.

This master plan will cover several economic zones to provide better connectivity and improve business competitiveness. This plan will also extensively leverage spatial planning tools with ISRO imagery developed by the BiSAG-N (Bhaskaracharya National Institute for Space Applications and Geoinformatics).

Goods and cargo will be able to move faster and seamlessly thanks to multi-modal connectivity. Additionally, it will shorten travel time for people and facilitate better last-mile connectivity.

Six Pillars of the Gati Shakti Plan

The following are the six pillars of the Gati Shakti scheme:

1. Comprehensiveness

A single, centralised portal will provide access to all planned and existing initiatives of various ministries and departments. As a result, all the departments will be able to view each other’s activities and provide meaningful insights to plan and execute projects effectively.

2. Prioritization

By employing this method, all the departments will prioritise their projects via cross-sector communication, ensuring that the important tasks get executed first.

3. Optimization

Using the Gati Shakti master plan, different ministries will be able to identify critical gaps in planning and execution and correct their course accordingly. Choosing the most efficient and economical route for transporting goods between two locations will be made easy through Gati Shakti.‌‌‌‌

4. Synchronisation

Departments and ministries often operate in silos. Planning and implementation of projects is not coordinated, which often causes delays. By ensuring coordination of work between the different levels of government, Gati Shakti will help coordinate the activities of each department in a holistic manner.‌‌‌‌

5. Analytical

With the implementation of Gati Shakti, relevant project data will be compiled in one place through GIS (Geographic Information System) based spatial planning and analysis tools, enabling better visibility.‌‌‌‌

6. Dynamic

In the future, it is expected that cross-sectoral projects can be visualised, reviewed, and tracked using the GIS platform, as satellite imagery will provide regular updates on the ground, and the website will be updated regularly with the project updates. This analysis will provide a framework for identifying essential interventions to enhance and update the master plan.

Expected outcomes under the Gati Shakti master plan

For all infrastructure ministries, the national master plan sets targets through 2024-25.‌‌‌‌

  • The ministry’s objective is to develop two lakh kilometres of national highways, build 5,590 km of four and six-lane highways along coastal areas, and connect all state capitals in the North-east with either two or four-lane highways.‌‌     ‌‌     ‌‌
  • Concerning railways, the goal is to handle freight volumes of 1,600 million tonnes by 2020, decongesting 51 percent of the rail network as a result of completing additional lines and establishing two Dedicated Freight Corridors (DFCs).‌‌     ‌‌     ‌‌
  • By 2025, the civil aviation sector plans to build 109 more airports, heliports, and water aerotropolis as it wants to double its footprint to 220 airports, heliports, and water aerotropolis.‌‌     ‌‌     ‌‌
  • By the year 2020, cargo capacity at ports is expected to increase from 1282 MMTPA to 1,759 MMTPA. (Million Metric Tonnes per Annum)‌‌     ‌‌     ‌‌
  • The country is planning on expanding its gas pipeline network by building an additional 17,000 km long trunk pipeline to connect major industrial demand and supply centres, according to the approved plan.‌‌     ‌‌     ‌‌
  • The transmission network in the power sector will have a capacity of 4.52 lakh circuit km, and the renewable energy capacity will rise from 87.7 GW to 225 GW.‌‌‌‌
  • In addition to the 11 industrial corridors, the plan calls for achieving a defence production turnover of Rs 1.7 lakh crore and having 38 electronic manufacturing clusters and 109 pharmaceutical clusters by 2024-25‌‌     ‌‌     ‌‌
  • The scheme will hugely benefit MSME companies because it has 11 industrial corridors and 2 defence corridors. This will not only guarantee a widespread reach of basic amenities in our country’s remotest regions but will also dramatically boost the prospects for inclusive growth.‌‌     ‌‌     ‌‌
  • As part of Apollo’s work, the Indian government has already tasked some agencies with sustainably developing the gas pipeline infrastructure without disrupting the existing infrastructure.

Final thoughts‌‌‌‌

India should become the global centre of business, according to Gati Shakti’s master plan. This plan will help existing connectivity and future projects. A comprehensive and integrated transportation connectivity strategy will substantially support the Make In India initiative. It is a positive step in the right direction, but it needs to be accompanied by a clear and stable institutional and regulatory framework.

In a sense, the Gati Shakti initiative by PM Modi is intended to raise living standards and serve two purposes. First, filling the infrastructure gaps between various sectors, and the second is the subsequent additional economic growth. While plans like Gati Shakti are helping make logistics easier, apps like Vahak are ensuring availing and providing these services happen seamlessly! Check out our transport app and online transport marketplace to see for yourself.

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