PM Gati Shakti – Infrastructure integration program must go beyond mere monitoring

download 31 PM Gati Shakti   Infrastructure integration program must go beyond mere monitoring

Prime Minister announced the ambitious Gati Shakti Yojana, also called as the Infrastructure masterplan. The idea was to integrate infrastructure projects with 16 departments under a common dashboard to enable easy and single-point monitoring and review.

What the Gati Shakti is about?

On the face of it, the Gati Shakti may look like a macro plan. But it has detailed targets for specific departments like railways, roadways, telecom etc. In addition, the Gati Shakti also envisages the extensive use of technology to ensure that the monitoring and follow up action with respect to infrastructure projects is quick and also actionable. Of course, the effort will have the end goal of reducing, if not eliminating, the time and cost overruns, so common in these huge infrastructure projects in India.

The government has set year 2025 as the first milestone for a slew of projects. That covers 11 industrial corridors, 200,000 KM of national highways, 32% hike in rail freight, doubling the number of airports and 37% rise in cargo. In addition, the gas pipeline networks is proposed to be doubled to 34,500 KM while the renewable energy capacity will go up 3-fold to 225 GW by 2025. The Gati Shakti will monitor and fast-track infrastructure projects of Rs.110,000 crore and also ensure fast tracking as well as single-point clearance to avoid approval clogging by various ministries.

Intent is absolutely great

The intent of the Gati Shakti plan is absolutely appreciable. Firstly, common dashboards will ensure that there is a more integrated approach to managing infrastructure projects. Quite often, related ministries are not aware of what is happening in the other ministries and that leads to sub-optimal decisions. The second key point is the single-point clearance. That is the need of the hour and that is how infrastructure projects are managed in most countries, due to their complex nature. Lastly, the Gati Shakti will address the huge gap that still exists in India between macro plans and micro execution. That will translate a lot of dreams into actionable output.

Looks simpler that it actually is

There can be a few distinct roadblocks to this infrastructure grand plan. Firstly, existing infrastructure projects already are in the midst of time and cost over-runs. That will have to be resolved first. Secondly, infrastructure projects do get stuck on issues like environmental and land clearances. Some of the clearances are state subjects and this can work only if there is adequate buy-in from the state governments. Finally, a detailed analysis of the downstream effects has to be made. We must not end up with a situation where the efficiencies are boosting output but the demand is not there. Next level thinking holds the key to success of such ambitious ideas!

Do you think that this scheme will give tech push for quicker delivery of infra projects?
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