On 15 August 2020, when India completed 75 years of its independence, the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, announced Gati Shakti’s scheme from the Red Fort in New Delhi.
On 13 October, it was launched by the government of India, having a budget of more than Rs 100 Lakh Crores, which aims to adopt a holistic and integrated approach for the development of infrastructure in the country.
The term Gati Shakti is the coined term by combining two elements, i.e., “Gati” which means Speed, and “Shakti” which stands for Power in the Hindi language. The Gati Shakti is a National Master Plan designed to improve and develop Multi-Model Connectivity in the nation. Under this initiative, several ministries, 16 to be precise, will coordinate from planning to implementation at the grass-root level for integrated development using the digital platform. This integration includes a wide array of ministries, ranging from the Ministry of Railways to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, to implement infrastructure connectivity projects holistically.
After completing the first phase, social infrastructure such as universities and hospitals will also be included by the ministries.
Why the Need for Gati Shakti?
Infrastructure creation in India has been a challenge since independence. There has been a lack of coordination between different Departments during the implementation of projects. For example, once a road was constructed, after some time, other agencies dug up the road again for activities such as laying of gas pipelines, underground cables, etc.; this not only led to a waste of public expenditure but also caused great inconvenience to the residents. To address this issue, efforts were required to increase coordination among various agencies so that all cables, pipelines could be laid simultaneously during the construction phase itself. Also, steps were required to fasten the approval of clearance and regulation process by other agencies.
Gati Shakti will address past issues by institutionalizing holistic planning for stakeholders for major infrastructure projects. Instead of planning & designing in isolation, the projects will be created and executed with a common vision. It will be very beneficial for the infrastructure schemes having several stakeholders such as various Ministries and State Governments like the following:
Sagarmala, UDAN, Bharatmala, inland waterways, and economic zones like textile, defense, pharmaceutical, industrial, electronic, Agri zones, and fishing clusters will also be covered to improve connectivity & make Indian businesses more competitive. It has also incorporated technology for better implementation using spatial planning tools with ISRO imagery.
Six Pillars of the PM Gati Shakti
- Comprehensiveness: It will include all the existing and planned initiatives of various Ministries and Departments having one centralized portal that will provide critical data to them while planning & executing projects more comprehensively.
- Dynamic: All Ministries and Departments will now be provided with a digital platform where they can visualize and monitor and review the progress of cross-sectoral projects. Through the integrated GIS platform, which will give on-ground progress periodically through satellite imaging and progress of the projects will keep on regularly updating on the portal; this will help identify the vital interventions for enhancing and updating the master plan if required.
- Optimization: The National Master Plan will also help the different ministries plan projects if any critical gap is identified. The plan will assist in selecting the most optimum route for the transportation of the goods from one place to another, saving time and cost for the project.
- Prioritization: Through this portal, different Departments can prioritize their projects through cross-sectoral interactions.
- Analytical: The plan will enable better visibility to the executing agency as the entire data will be provided in one place with analytical tools and GIS-based spatial planning.
- Synchronization: Individual Ministries and Departments usually work separately, resulting in delays of projects. This lack of coordination in planning and implementation can be minimized under Gati Shakti as it will help in synchronizing the activities of each department and among different layers of governance, all in a holistic manner to ensure coordination of work between them.
Expected Benefits of Gati Shakti
- It will prepare the next generation infrastructure, which improves ease of living and doing business as the multi-modal connectivity will facilitate the last mile connectivity of infrastructure. Aside from this, it will also reduce travel time for people and provide integrated and seamless connectivity for the movement of people, goods, and services from one mode of transport to another.
- It expects to cut down the logistics costs and improve the supply chains while ensuring proper linkages for local industry & consumers and improving the global competitiveness of local products.
We hope that this mission will realize the vision with which it has been initiated and contribute to the growth of India.