NEW DELHI : As many as 100 big ticket infrastructure projects of different ministries worth Rs 5.89 lakh crore have been recommended for approval under the PM Gati Shakti initiative so far this fiscal, a senior official said on Monday. These projects have been recommended by the Network Planning Group (NPG) constituted under the PM Gati Shakti initiative launched in October 2021. The NPG has achieved the milestone of appraising 100 projects in 54 meetings, Smt Sumita Dawra, Special Secretary (Logistics), Departmentfor Promotion ofIndustry and Internal Trade, said. The inter-ministerial NPG meets every fortnight and appraises infra projects to ensure multi-modality, synchronisation of efforts, and comprehensive development in and around the project location. The initiative was launched to develop an integrated infrastructure to reduce logistics costs.
All logistics and connectivity infrastructure projects, entailing investments of over Rs 500 crore are routed through the NPG. The NPG’s approval is required before clearance of the project by the Public Investment Board (PIB) or Department of Expenditure under the finance ministry.
The maximum number of projects recommended by the group are related to roads, railways and urban development. A total of 40 road projects with a total investment of Rs 3.65 lakh crore, 40 railway projects worth Rs 95,704 crore and 8 urban development projects valued at Rs 79,016 crore have been approved. The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has planned over 1,400 kilometres of roads to date and the Ministry of Railways has planned over 13,000 km of track length using the National Master Plan (NMP), Dawra said.
The NMP has a number of layers of geospatial data showing all physical and social infrastructure of an area and land records in one place. It has been designed for faster planning and better design so that the impact of an investment is maximised. “In case of Detailed Route Survey (DRS) done by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, it used to take 6-9 months to prepare 46 reports manually, but now using NMP through electronic DRS with theclick of a button, thereports getcreated, which has madethe process simpler and faster,” she said. The NPG has representations from various connectivity infrastructure ministries/ departments involving their heads of network planning division for unified planning and integration of the proposals. All these departments approach the NPG first for approval before making a DPR (Detailed Project Report) at the planning stage. After the NPG’s clearance, the project follows the normal procedure of approval by the finance ministry and the Cabinet. Over 1,400 layers of data, including those related to land, ports, forest, and highways, are available on the portal. Usage of the portal by different ministries, including social sector departments and states, are increasing and it is helping in proper planning of projects, she said.