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The A,B,C of Gati Shakti: Making sense of a criss-cross of projects

Here's how it works. Rather than separate plans, Gati Shakti encourages a unified approach, with various government ministries and departments engaging in synergetic infrastructure development

Gati Shakti

Shreya NandiDhruvaksh Saha
What is Gati Shakti?
Picture this: various government ministries and departments teaming up for a common cause – that's the essence of the PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan (NMP). Introduced in 2021, this is a digital platform that intends to reshape how India approaches infrastructure development. The focus is on collaboration among ministries and departments, both at the Centre and in the states, to achieve overall growth and sustainability.
Here’s how it works. Rather than separate plans, Gati Shakti encourages a unified approach, with various government ministries and departments engaging in synergetic infrastructure development. It’s like pieces of a puzzle coming together to form a bigger picture of progress – not at a theoretical level, but on the ground.
Each ministry or department uploads every minute data related to its social and economic projects on the Gati Shakti portal. Every other ministry or department can access this data and plan its own projects or social initiatives around it (see “Case study: Malkangiri-Bhadrachalam rail line”).
According to the Centre, the objective is holistic infrastructure development to reduce duplication of efforts, ease movement of goods and people, minimise migration and move towards an optimal transport modal mix. (Modal mix refers to using a combination of two or more modes of transport – road, rail, shipping, inland waterways.)
Gati Shakti consists of a common digital platform, with nodal representatives in every ministry and department. Every state also contributes its chapter to the narrative through the State Master Plan.

Which ministry/department is overseeing Gati Shakti?
Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

What is its aim?
PM Gati Shakti National Master Plans aim to dismantle the barriers between departments and introduce a streamlined approach to executing infrastructure projects efficiently and within set timelines. At the core of this initiative is the aspiration for comprehensive regional advancement.
Consider this scenario: the railways ministry might not be fully aware of the upcoming projects from other government entities, economic zones, or industrial clusters. The digital tool strives to eliminate this information gap by granting each department insights into the activities of others. This shared visibility during the planning and execution phases of projects facilitates coordination.
The benefits of this approach are manifold. It aids various ministries in strategising modifications, expansions, and new undertakings by identifying critical connectivity gaps. For instance, if there's a need to transport coal from Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh to Mundra Port in Gujarat, this plan can pinpoint the most efficient and time-saving route involving rail and road networks. Such optimisation can drastically reduce logistical expenses. Furthermore, the plan assists rail and road ministries in recognising vital routes for enhancements, adjustments, and expansions to improve operational efficiencies.
The plan’s scope extends to encompass all ministries and departments, enabling them to observe, evaluate, and oversee the progress of cross-sector projects. By working collaboratively, they can sidestep conflicts and improve overall operational effectiveness, fostering a more harmonious and efficient infrastructure development landscape.

Ministries/departments involved?
As many as 39 ministries, including road transport and highways, railways, coal, civil aviation, ports, shipping and waterways, petroleum and natural gas, are part of the national master plan.

States involved?
All 36 states and Union Territories have been onboarded.

Tech support?
The National Master Plan has been developed as a digital planning tool by the Bhaskaracharya National Institute for Space Applications and Geoinformatics (BISAG-N), which operates under the administrative control of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.
Leveraging the power of geographic information system (GIS) technology, this digital tool incorporates specific action plans from all ministries and departments into a comprehensive database. This dynamic platform enables the mapping of all infrastructure projects and facilitates real-time updates of relevant details.
The map has been built on open-source technologies and uses satellite imagery from the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro), along with basemaps sourced from Survey of India.
The digital system is a software that provides separate user login IDs to individual ministries for updating their data periodically. This software integrates data from all ministries into a unified platform.

Projects under Gati Shakti?
As many as 96 projects – each worth over Rs 500 crore and collectively worth Rs 5.80 trillion – have been assessed on the principles of PM Gati Shakti in 53 network planning group (NPG) meetings since the launch of the national master plan. The NPG is an inter-ministerial panel that reviews all publicly-funded projects.

Projects so far?
In all, 96 projects have been assessed on the PM Gati Shakti principles. Of these, 38 each are under the Railways, and road transport and highways ministries; eight are under housing and urban affairs: five under the National Industrial Corridor Development Corporation; four under petroleum and natural gas; two under ports, shipping and waterways; and one under renewable energy.

Case study

Economic infrastructure: Malkangiri-Bhadrachalam rail line

States: Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana

Project cost: Rs 3,592 crore

Department: Railways

The project was discussed at the 53rd meeting of Gati Shakti’s network planning group. This is a multi-state corridor, which is aimed at providing connectivity between Pandurangapuram (in Andhra Pradesh’s Kurnool district) and Junagarh (in Odisha), which contains several iron ore mines. The expected iron ore requirement will be 437 million tonnes per annum by 2031, which is more than double the current volume.
With several infrastructure bottlenecks in the area, there is a pressing need for efficient logistics and evacuation infrastructure.
Planned on the Gati Shakti principles, this railway line is expected to reduce the distance between the deep seaports of Andhra Pradesh to the mines and industries in southern Odisha, which has close to 63 active iron ore mines. The rail line is expected to help the Railways increase its modal freight share to 45 per cent of the national logistics.Currently, it is at 27 per cent.
Working on the Gati Shakti model, the project intends to do more than add to the economy. The railway line passes through tribal areas and provides enhanced scope for the Ministry of Tribal Affairs to collaborate with the national transporter to develop social amenities such as schools and healthcare institutes in the region.

Key projects in the works

Ministry of Road Transport and Highways

Pune – Bengaluru Expressway
State: Maharashtra, Karnataka
Chennai - Trichy – Tuticorin EXP (Chennai – Trichy EXP & Thanjavur [Pillaiyarpatti] – Tuticorin)
State: Tamil Nadu
Indo-Nepal Border – Haldia Corridor
State: Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal
Gorakhpur-Siliguri Corridor State: Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal
Bareilly – Gorakhpur Corridor
State: Uttar Pradesh 
Ludhiana – Shamli – Bareilly with spur to Dasna
State: Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh 
Hyderabad - Bengaluru
State: Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka 
Jhansi - Lakhnadon - Raipur
State: Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh
Mandi Dabwali – Panipat (Connecting Amritsar, Bathinda, Jamnagar & Ambala Kotputli with NH44)
State: Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh
Construction of 4-Lane Access Controlled Greenfield Highway section (Warangal-Khammam) from Oorugonda village at Design Ch. 112.240 km to V. Venkatayapalem village at Design Ch. 220.480 km (total length 108.24 km) as a part of Nagpur- Vijaywada corridor, under other Economic Corridor NH(O) programme on Hybrid Annuity model in the state of Telangana 
State: Telangana, Andhra Pradesh
Hyderabad - Nagpur
State: Maharashtra, Telangana
Pune – Ahmednagar – Aurangabad Corridor
State: Maharashtra
Lalsot – Kishangarh – Jodhpur Corridor
State: Rajasthan
Bangalore Ring Road (STRR)
State: Karnataka, Tamil Nadu

Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs

Delhi-Gurugram-SNB RRTS Project
State: Haryana, Delhi, Rajasthan
DMRTS Phase-IV – three corridors ,ie, Lajpat Nagar-Saket G Block, Inderlok-Indraprastha and Rithala-Narela
State: Delhi
Thane Integral Ring Metro Project
State: Maharashtra
Ministry of Railways nNew line between Barbil-Nayagarh-Barsuan and Bhadrasahi- Kiriburu section (198.73 km), Barbil-Nayagarh Double Line
State: Odisha, Jharkhand
Sonnagar - Andal 3rd & 4th railway line
State: Bihar, West Bengal
Ministry of New And Renewable Energy nGreen Energy Corridor Phase-II: Inter-State Transmission System for 13 Gw Renewable Energy (RE) Projects in Ladakh
State: Ladakh, Haryana

Case study

Economic infrastructure

Vadhvan Port
State: Maharashtra

Project cost: Rs 74,000 crore
Ministry: Ports, Shipping and Waterways

One of the most ambitious ongoing projects of the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, this deep draft port is located off the coastal village of Dahanu on Vadhvan beach in Maharashtra. Its aim is to address the long-standing issue of the low draft depth of most Indian ports, which causes large ships to avoid the country’s coastline for destinations such as Colombo, Malaysia and Singapore.
While the project was mooted in 2015, several plans have since been added to the core port construction outlay on the principles of Gati Shakti.
Based on a thorough analysis of infrastructure connectivity requirements and industry demand-supply projections in the region, several interconnected infrastructure initiatives are in the pipeline. These projects include establishing direct links with National Highway 48, connecting to the western dedicated freight corridor, and building pipelines and water reservoirs. These efforts are intricately tied to the expansion of the port, which recently received the go-ahead from an environmental review panel.
Furthermore, concurrent efforts are underway to formulate proposals for projects in the social sector. These encompass diverse areas such as enhancing training opportunities in tourism and fishing, revitalising heritage sites, establishing healthcare facilities, setting up malnutrition control centres, bolstering sports infrastructure, and facilitating the provision of sports and cultural equipment. Many of these blueprints have been collaboratively crafted with input from various states via the state master plan portal.

Case study

Highway projects
State: Uttar Pradesh

Department: Road Transport and Highways
In recent years, there has been a substantial push towards highway planning, with significant government funding allocated to develop cutting-edge expressways and highways that interconnect various states and districts. This initiative is primarily aimed at reducing India's logistics costs and curbing fuel emissions stemming from road transportation, which is a major contributor to the country's cargo movement. Three highway projects in Uttar Pradesh were initiated during the 52nd session of the Gati Shakti Network Planning Group.

 -- Prayagraj City Bypass Road and Raebareli-Prayagraj Section: Gati Shakti helped in digitally identifying land acquisition and clearance requirements. This effort led to the modification of the alignment plan, resulting in a 10 per cent reduction in the effective length of the highway. As a direct outcome, a projected decrease of 50 per cent in travel time is anticipated.
--  Ayodhya Bypass Road: By leveraging the national master plan, adjustments were made to the project's alignment, resulting in a reduction of 5 km in its effective length. This change has led to a 250 per cent increase in average speed, along with a projected annual reduction of 5 million litres of fuel through enhanced peripheral connectivity. This is also anticipated to bring down the carbon footprint by 10 million kilograms per year.
-- Agra-Gwalior Six-Lane Greenfield Access Controlled Highway: Gati Shakti-led planning helped optimise the alignment of the project, leading to a reduction of 7 km and a 50 per cent decrease in travel time.

Case study

Social infrastructure

Optimising government fair price shops
With fair price shops operating in congested areas in remote locations, optimising logistics around these shops is important. To streamline this process, the decision was made to establish direct linkages between existing fair price shops and the nearest godowns, thereby enhancing transportation efficiency. This strategic mapping was done by the civil supplies department through the Gati Shakti portal, leveraging the geographical information system (GIS) routing and location analysis tools embedded within the platform.
Through this approach, the shortest route in terms of distance and transit time from godowns to the shops was identified. This was done without necessitating the relocation of any of the existing facilities. By optimising supply chains from the godowns to the fair price shops, the cost of transporting foodgrain was reduced.


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First Published: Aug 31 2023 | 12:34 AM IST

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