In 11 months, PM GatiShakti plan uproots hurdles, speeds up projects; all states on board

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New Delhi: When the ambitious PM GatiShakti National Master Plan (NMP) project was conceived last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is believed to have asked the NMP’s core team by when they could make the project functional at the ground.

Now, 11 months after the PM unveiled the major infra game-changer, over 900 layers of data of central ministries and 654 layers of data of states are available at the click of a button. Nearly 1,300 issues have been resolved in projects for speedy implementation and nearly 200 critical infrastructure projects are being sped up and all states have on-boarded the PM GatiShakti NMP.

“We have complete visibility at the click of a button on the situation on the ground in any part of the country while planning a project. This was missing earlier,” a top official told News18.

Based on PM GatiShakti, the government has finalised a comprehensive country-wide port connectivity plan just a few days ago to connect all its ports by different modes of transport, including 60 road and 42 rail projects that will benefit 84 Indian ports with better connectivity for cargo.

As many as 94 new infra projects for movement of coal, steel and food products have also been identified for a speedy rollout under the PM GatiShakti NMP, officials told News18. These include 13 projects of Ministry of Coal worth Rs 25,439 crore, 13 projects of Department of Fertilizers, 30 projects of Department of Food and Public Distribution, and 38 projects of Steel Ministry.

These include projects for improving connectivity to coal mines in central and eastern belt of the country through new railway lines and the projects are expected to be completed by 2023 and 2026 through close monitoring under the PM GatiShakti NMP. Similar connectivity projects have been drawn up for steel plans situated in northern and central belt of India through new rail lines and airport connectivity.

A big change has also been in the resolution of issues for time-bound implementation of projects with 1,228 issues resolved in the last eight months. “In the same period earlier, only 400-odd issues on an average could be resolved and hence there has been a nearly three-time jump in resolution of issues. These issues mainly involved land acquisition and forest clearances which are the domain of the states,” the top official said.

How is PM Gatishakti achieving its aim?

Seven major ministries and departments — Telecom, Railways, Road Transport and Highways, Petroleum and Natural Gas, Ports and Shipping, Agriculture, and Food and Public Distribution — have started using the PM GatiShakti Platform for infrastructure planning and decision-making, top officials have told News18.

Top government officials said the Highways Ministry had used the portal to make pre-alignments for 11 Greenfield projects under Bharatmala scheme and drawn up over 113 Detailed Project Reports (DPRs).

With nearly 1,569 layers of data now uploaded on the PM GatiShakti NMP by Centre and states, complete satellite-scale visibility on existing and proposed projects in any part of the country is now available to government at the click of a button.

“Pipelines, railway line, roads – all are visible digitally. It is very easy to do planning for infrastructure, particularly for clearances. Like if we are building a road near defence land, we know now in advance on seeking required clearances. Earlier, this visibility was not there,” a top official said.

The other change has been in capacity-building with over 1,100 officials being trained on PM GatiShakti. “Till we don’t develop capacity as it is technical, its adoption won’t happen. An extensive exercise will be done on training. A new course is coming on PM GatiShakti on an online platform so that any government servant can do it,” an official said.

There is a proposal that any officer of Deputy Secretary-level and above should necessarily do this course so that he is acquainted with PM GatiShakti in any job he does in the future. Training courses are under design to train 10,000 more officers on the IGOT platform on GatiShakti.

Getting states on board

A big task for the Centre was to get all states and UTs on-boarded for the institutional framework of the plan, in which it has succeeded. A new focus is now on logistics policies of states.

“We encouraged all states to have a logistics policy. Fourteen states have formed it and 11 more would do it soon,” a top official said.

This is helping ‘user ministries’ like fertilizer, coal and ports with faster movement of goods without congestion.

Uttar Pradesh has integrated its ‘Pahunch’ portal with PM GatiShakti NMP to plan for improving outreach of schools in unserved areas, officials said. Gujarat has used NMP for planning of site suitability of anganwadis and also adopted the portal till district level for faceless approvals. The Centre approved Rs 5,000 crore as financial assistance for states for PM GatiShakti-related expenditure, after which eight states have proposed 107 projects worth Rs 5,657 crore.

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In 11 months, PM GatiShakti plan uproots hurdles, speeds up projects; all states on board
In 11 months, PM GatiShakti plan uproots hurdles, speeds up projects; all states on board
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