Gati Shakti Master Plan [UPSC Current Affairs]

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Gati Shakti – National Master Plan for Multi-modal Connectivity in October 2021. What is the Gati Shakti National Master Plan? Read on to know more. This is an important topic for the UPSC exam covering topics like infrastructure, economy, etc.

PM Gati Shakti Scheme

The Gati Shakti is a national master plan aimed at the coordinated planning and execution of infrastructure projects in India to reduce logistics costs.

  • Gati Shakti is a digital platform that will bring 16 ministries and departments of the Government of India together and that includes the Railways and the Roadways also.
  • The idea is to have a coordinated execution of infrastructure connectivity projects across the country.
  • It is a Rs.100 lakh-crore project for developing ‘holistic infrastructure’.
  • The existing infrastructure schemes under various ministries will be incorporated into this plan, including Sagarmala, Bharatmala, UDAN scheme, inland waterways, etc.
  • The master plan will also cover economic zones such as pharmaceutical clusters, textile clusters, defence corridors, industrial corridors, electronic parks, fishing clusters, and agri zones.
  • It will also leverage technology extensively including spatial planning tools with ISRO imagery developed by BiSAG-N.
  • The master plan will usher in the seamless movement of goods and people all across India.
  • PM GatiShakti will provide the public and business community information regarding the upcoming connectivity projects, other business hubs, industrial areas and surrounding environment.
  • Gati Shakti raises the possibility of future economic zones as well.
  • The program has been launched as an umbrella integrator of ₹111-lakh crore worth of projects under the National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) for 2020-25.
Gati Shakti National Master Plan

Image source: PIB

Six Pillars of Gati Shakti

Comprehensiveness Prioritization
Optimization Synchronization
Analytical Dynamic

PM Gati Shakti Significance

The chief aim of the program is to enhance coordination among the various ministries and departments. India has been suffering from poor infrastructure for decades. The infrastructure creation domain had several inherent weaknesses.

  • There was a lack of coordination between different departments, for example, once a road was constructed, other agencies dug up the constructed road again for activities like laying of underground cables, gas pipelines, etc.
  • This not only caused great inconvenience but was also a wasteful expenditure.
  • It will ensure last-mile connectivity by working with all stakeholders.
  • Individual ministries and departments often worked in silos leading to poor planning and execution, which ultimately led to delays in the projects. This is where the Gati Shakti program hopes to bring a positive change.
  • The digital plan will provide the entire data at one place with GIS-based spatial planning and analytical tools having 200+ layers, enabling better visibility to the executing agency.
  • Gati Shakti will help ministries/departments plan cross-sectoral projects better, monitor the implementation, review the progress and make course corrections if necessary since all the information will now be available on the portal through satellite imagery.
  • It is important to reduce logistics costs in India which is currently about 13% of GDP (which is quite high) causing decreased competitiveness of Indian exports in the global markets. By planning to close the gap between macro planning and micro implementation, Gati Shakti seeks to reduce the huge logistics costs.

Why is infrastructure important?

  • Infrastructure spending has a multiplier effect on the economy. 
  • Apart from the direct benefits such as employment generation, demand for raw materials for construction, etc., there would also be indirect benefits to the economy. 
  • The second-order effects are those that are brought on by improved connectivity. 
  • People and goods would move faster between destinations reducing logistics costs. 
  • Studies by the RBI and the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy have shown that for every rupee spent by the government in creating infrastructure, GDP gains worth Rs. 2.5-3.5 accrue. 
  • For balanced regional development, it is important that multiple urban clusters sprout up across the country and are not concentrated in certain areas only. This is possible by a coordinated approach in infrastructure development, for instance, roads would feed into railway lines which in turn would feed into ports, efficiently moving goods from the hinterlands to the ports.

Gati Shakti Expected Outcomes

Gati Shakti envisages shaping India into the business capital of the world. 

  • It will help map the existing and proposed connectivity projects.
  • A comprehensive and integrated transport connectivity strategy will considerably support ‘Make in India’.
  • It should help achieve the various objectives of the government of India such as expanding the length of the national highway network to 2 lakh km, the creation of heliports and water aerodromes, and the development of over 200 new airports.
  • Boosting trade by enhancing the cargo handling capacity and decreasing the turnaround time at Indian ports.
  • Establishing 11 industrial corridors and two defence corridors.
  • It seeks to extend 4G connectivity to all the villages of the country.
  • Another aim is the expansion of the gas pipeline network.

Gati Shakti Concerns

There is a lack of private demand and investment in the post-covid scenario. Then, there are structural problems in land acquisition and litigation issues, getting environmental clearances because of which the rate of project implementation is very low by global standards. 

There are also concerns about declining credit off-take trends.

Although Gati Shakti is a step in the right direction, it needs to be coupled with a stable and predictable regulatory and institutional framework.

Gati Shakti Master Plan:- Download PDF Here

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