- On 13th October 2021, ‘Gati Shakti National Master Plan’, a 100 lakh crore rupees worth project was launched.
What is Gati Shakti National Master Plan:
- It will work towards establishing multi-modal connectivity in the country. For example, roads will be connected to railways, railways will be connected to ports etc. The project will integrate roads, railways, ports & aviation sectors to create a seamless transport network in India. This will enable the easy movement of people and goods from even remotest areas to any area across the country.
- It will also integrate the central government departments to work on the infrastructure projects. At present, 16 central government departments including Roads and Highways, Railways, Aviation, Power, Telecom sector come under this project. Using Geographic Information System (GIS) enabled centralized digital platform, every department will access data of the work done on infrastructure projects by other departments. This will be helpful in planning and executing projects efficiently. It will eliminate the problems caused by a lack of coordination. For example, when one department constructs a road, other departments are digging it for their works such as laying water pipelines, powerlines etc. This process can be avoided by the Gati Shakti project.
- This project will provide a framework for National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) program. Infrastructure projects worth Rs.110 lakh crore spanned from 2020 to 2025 come under Gati Shakti plan.
Benefits of Gati Shakti National Master Plan:
- Integration of all the transportation systems (roads, railways, ports, aviation) means roads will be connected to railways, railways will be connected to ports etc. This will enable the easy movement of people from even remotest areas to any area across the country. This will ensure last-mile connectivity and reduce travel time.
- Transportation of goods will also become easier and cheaper by eliminating the need for hiring private vehicles. This reduces logistics costs. Efficiency will also be increased.
- At present, the majority part of goods is being transported through roadways. This is increasing traffic and is costing a lot due to high fuel prices. With the Gati Shakti plan, we can divert most of these goods to railways, which will be an efficient mode of transportation and also reduce costs. This will also reduce vehicular emissions.
- With fewer transportation costs, the prices of goods will be reduced and hence can make Indian products more competitive globally. And hence exports will be increased.
- This will also create plenty of jobs directly and indirectly. Directly, it creates employment opportunities in the infrastructure and IT sectors. Indirectly this plan will boost the manufacturing sector and also will create new business opportunities, and hence can create plenty of employment opportunities.
- With the help of modern technologies and a geo-mapping system, it will integrate all the departments to work on the projects. So, this will eliminate inter-ministerial delays and will also reduce bureaucratic hurdles.
- Integration of ministries will help in preventing wastage of budget. The above-said example can be stated here. When one department constructs a road, other departments are digging it for their works such as laying water pipelines, powerlines etc. This wastage of money will be prevented.
- Better transportation infrastructure and faster approval of projects will result in attracting more investments.
- Faster infrastructure development will help in achieving India’s aim to become a $5 trillion economy.
- Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises sectors (MSME) will also be a part of the projects.
- Many economic zones and industrial parks are underutilized due to a lack of efficient transportation infrastructure. Now with the creation of world-class modern infrastructure, they will also be utilized to the full extent.
- With the better transport system, multiple industrial clusters can be set up across the country, especially in the rural areas. This will reduce the pressure on urban areas and also promotes even development.
Challenges in Gati Shakti National Master Plan:
- The cooperation between central and state governments is a big challenge since both have to work together in land acquisition for the projects.
- Selecting land for projects without negatively impacting the environment and the people living in the areas is also a big challenge.
Gati Shakti National Master Plan can revolutionize India’s infrastructure. If this becomes successful, it will result in an inclusive society and a fast-growing economy with world-class infrastructure facilities. Its success completely depends on its effective implementation and the cooperation between central and state governments.
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