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Prime minister Narendra Modi on Thursday unveiled the PM Gati Shakti-National Master Plan for multimodal connectivity that he first spoke of from the ramparts of the Red Fort on Independence Day earlier this year. Mint explains.

What is PM Gati Shakti master plan all about?

The PM Gati Shakti aims to break inter-ministerial silos in infrastructure development. It will be achieved through integrated planning and coordinated implementation between different government departments. Two defence corridors in Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh will be set up. In the last few years, work to establish four industrial corridors has begun as well. The government’s thinking is that by planning and building the trunk infrastructure through the Gati Shakti, such industrial corridors can be made ready for plug-and-play for industries to quickly start operations.

How is the Gati Shakti different from the  NIP?

The National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP), worth 110 trillion, is a list of social and infrastructure projects that the government plans to build by 2025. The Gati Shakti will form the digital backbone up on which the infrastructure projects will be implemented. All projects will be on this digital plat-form built by the Bhaskaracharya National Institute for Space Applications and Geo-informatics (BISAG-N). From stakeholder coordination to key last-mile connectivity, every aspect of the planning will be dealt by the master plan. It may ensure that the Centre does not lose money or time due to the lack of coordination.

The master plan
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The master plan

What does this mean for logistics costs in India?

India’s logistics costs are very high, at around 13% of its gross domestic product (GDP)—it makes most industries in India less competitive internationally. Smoother transportation will reduce logistics costs and make exports more competitive. Farmers also lose out on opportunities to export due to weak transport linkages. Seamless last-mile connectivity will greatly help.

How will the master plan be implemented?

The government will create a new institutional mechanism to coordinate the implementation of the master plan. A network planning group (NPG) of technical experts from each of the 16 infrastructure ministries will examine projects of infrastructure connectivity that cost more than 500 crore included under multimodal infrastructure classification. The projects cleared by the NPG will be sent to an Empowered Group of Secretaries headed by cabinet secretary for further scrutiny and approval.

Can it be explained through an example?

Let’s say an integrated industrial township is planned at Dadri in Greater Noida. It will have to be linked to ports through dedicated freight corridors. This needs a multimodal logistics hub close by. It will have a modern railway terminus, further supported by a mass rapid transit system. All this requires planning and coordination from different departments. With similar facilities in different parts of the country, the government believes it can make manufacturing more competitive

 

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