The Gati Shakti programme announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year envisages a digital platform for a national masterplan of infrastructure projects in the country which will be ready by March 31, 2022, according to a senior government official.
“All infrastructure projects will be mapped on the national masterplan [portal]. 75% of data from Central ministries on their infrastructure projects have already been uploaded. We are now training State governments to share their data. We are hopeful that the national masterplan [portal] will be ready by March-end,” Amrit Lal Meena, Special Secretary, Department for Promotion of Investment and Internal Trade told The Hindu.
Prime Minister Modi announced the Gati Shakti national master plan (NMP) on October 13, 2021, for setting up a centralised portal, and “institutionalising” planning, designing and execution among 17 different Ministries in the Centre as well as States. It will include projects worth ₹100 lakh crore. The programme also aims to cut down logistical costs and improve supply chains.
“The national masterplan will show us geographical features such as forests, water bodies, mines, religious and archaeological sites and help us plan alignment of infrastructure projects so that we can circumvent these. Earlier, projects would be planned from within the confines of offices,” Mr. Meena said.
As many as 370 “layers” of data critical for infrastructure planning have already been populated on the portal. These layers comprise information about the road, rail, port and inland waterways, aviation, natural gas pipeline, water supply pipelines, telecom infrastructure, forest wildlife, eco-sensitive zones, water resources, rivers, embankments, canals, dams, tourism sites, economic zones, industrial parks. There are also features like soil type, seismicity, etc. After the portal is ready, all detailed project reports of infrastructure projects will have to be prepared on it.
Following which a Network Planning Group (NPG) at the Centre will scrutinise and appraise the project. Above the NPG is the Empowered Group of Secretaries headed by the Cabinet Secretary which will review, monitor, amend projects in the NMP as well as lay out a procedure and a timeframe for synchronisation of various activities. The website will also enable States to plan their economic zones as well as carry out infrastructure gap audits. The Gati Shakti programme will also provide the public and business community information regarding upcoming connectivity projects, business hubs, industrial areas and surrounding environment so that investors can plan their businesses at suitable locations. However, a decision is yet to be taken on what kind of information will be made publicly accessible because of sensitive infrastructure involved such as defence corridors.
Source : The Hindu