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How Will Gati Shakti Master Plan Ensure Optimum Utilisation Of Resources?
The plan looks to make a centralized portal comprising of all existing and planned infrastructure initiatives of as many as 16 central ministries and departments. State governments and their respective departments shall also join in future. Industry leaders have described the plan as a game changer.
Photo Credit : PMO
Five years ago, Rakesh Kumar (name changed), a Class-1 Delhi-based contractor bagged a contract worth Rs 4.5 crore from the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) to construct a primary school in Delhi’s Najafgarh area.
The construction started and about Rs 1.5 crore worth of work was completed by Rakesh’s construction company in a few months. One fine day, his company receives a letter from the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) and SDMC to stop the construction work. The DMRC had planned a metro station at the site where the school was being constructed. Today at that very spot stands the Dhansa Metro Station which has connected the urban village area of Najafgarh to the rapid transit network for the first time. However, Rakesh and his company still await a just compensation.
The matter is in a court of justice and both the SDMC and DMRC contend that the other should pay the compensation. No doubt, Rakesh’s construction firm should be compensated but the root of the problem remains that the SDMC didn’t know that DMRC had planned a metro station at that site and the DMRC didn’t know that SDMC had planned a school building there. With the launch of PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan, one wonders if such a situation could have been prevented.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi while launching the Gati Shakti National Master Plan, said that various departments of our country which are involved in infrastructure building are not aware of projects other departments are planning.
“We often see road works getting completed and within months some other department would come and start digging the same road for laying new water or gas pipeline. All such problems are due to a lack of coordination between various departments. There is a huge difference between macro planning and micro implementation,” Modi said.
Modi said that the Gati Shakti Master Plan will solve such problems and ensure optimum utilisation of resources. The plan looks to make a centralized portal comprising of all existing and planned infrastructure initiatives of as many as 16 central ministries and departments. State governments and their respective departments shall also join in the future.
So how will it ensure optimum utilisation of resources?
Any infrastructure project requires a huge amount of human and financial resources. A department carries out a survey of the proposed site, land acquisition is done, environmental clearance is obtained, estimates/schedule of quantities are prepared, tenders are floated, upon opening, the bids are thoroughly evaluated, the contract is awarded, the work starts and so on. Post completion of work if after a few months that same site has some new project planned by some other department, it would have to go through some of these processes again.
A senior Delhi Public Works Department (PWD) official explained, “Delhi, for example, has multiple agencies and departments involved in infrastructural development. You have the civic bodies, the PWD, Delhi Jal Board, Irrigation and Flood Control, Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (DSIIDC). With such a portal, all of these departments would know what others are planning and plan their projects accordingly. This can ensure that when the work is completed the site has all the infrastructural requirements.”
The scheme has the potential to create a collaborative and effective implementation of central government schemes like Bharatmala, Sagarmala, Ports, Udan, Economic Zones, Railways, Inland waterways with a future plan to enfold social infrastructure like hospitals, universities, and commercial hubs.
“The scheme will be a great lifeline for the development of trade and commerce. The scheme targets seamless multi-modal connectivity including digital connectivity across India, where every village with 4G connectivity will be on the world Map. This will ensure seamless movement of goods as well as people, ensuring enhanced ease of living and doing business in India. Improved infrastructure will significantly reduce the logistics cost in India, which is currently at 13 per cent of GDP, thus give a competitive edge to exports,” said Suraj Nangia, Partner- Govt. & Public Sector Advisory, Nangia Andersen.
He further added that the scheme will not only ensure a widespread reach of basic amenities to the remotest areas of our country but will also significantly enhance the business opportunity for inclusive growth.