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The Gati Shakti master plan for multimodal connectivity to economic zones will aim at breaking inter-ministerial silos and lay the foundation of holistic infrastructure development in the country.

The plan, to be unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday, envisages integrated planning and coordinated implementation for seamless movement of people, goods and services.

“To minimize disruptions and have better cost efficiencies, there is a need to synchronize the activities relating to greenfield roads and railways, and laying of utilities such as cables, gas lines, electricity in an area by effectively coordinating between central agencies, state agencies, urban local bodies and the private sector. The plan lays down a framework for the 16 infrastructure ministries to engage in this direction," a government official said under condition of anonymity.

The government is creating a new institutional mechanism to coordinate the implementation of the master plan. A network planning group (NPG) of technical experts from each ministry will examine projects of infra connectivity of ministries that cost more than 500 crore and are classified as multimodal infra, according to the plan. The projects cleared by NPG will be sent to an empowered group of secretaries (EGoS) under the chairmanship of the cabinet secretary for approving any changes in the master plan. The logistics division, which will be shifted from the commerce to the industry department will operationalize NPG and act as secretariat to EGoS.

“It will resolve issues of disjointed planning, lack of standardization, issues of clearances, and timely creation and optimal utilization of capacities. It seeks to use latest technologies such as a geographic information system (GIS) based enterprise resource planning with more than 200 layers of evidence-based decision making, planning tools for route planning, dashboard based periodic monitoring, and use of the latest satellite imagery," the official said.

The national master plan has been developed by Bhaskaracharya National Institute for Space Applications and Geoinformatics and has been prepared in dynamic GIS platform wherein data on specific action plan of all the departments have been incorporated within a comprehensive database. The comprehensive map provides a bird’s eye view of infrastructure development with key layers based on completion timelines of various economic zones, infrastructure and utilities across India.

Modi had announced the formation of Gati Shakti during his Independence Day address. Along with modern infrastructure, there is a great need for adopting a holistic and integrated approach in infra development, he said.

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