By Siraj Saiyed,
Infrastructure marks the development of a country/state or any place whatsoever. No wonder, infrastructural development is a pre-requisite for the foundation of large scale economic development. That being said, in today’s age, one of the key components of optimal infrastructure development is to ensure that goods and people are efficiently and seamlessly able to move and switch across various modes of transport. This calls for a coordinated and interconnected approach — wherein roads would ideally feed into railway tracks, which could then connect to ports and so on.
What we are essentially pointing to and stressing on here is the significance of multimodal connectivity and multimodal transport systems – having which ensures that products and services reach the last-mile. Also, industrial growth of a country never happens in silos or in a disjointed manner. Creating an efficient nationwide multimodal network wherein various Government departments are working in close coordination to fast-track industrial growth and ease-of-doing-business might have seemed like a distant dream in India in the past; but now with the launch of PM Gati Shakti, this can soon become a reality!
In October 2021, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi officially introduced the PM Gati Shakti Master Plan — a Rs 100 lakh crore mega project that envisages bringing together on a common digital platform. The various infrastructure activities planned and executed by 16 Central ministries and departments — including Railways, Roads and Highways, Power, Telecom, Shipping & Aviation, among others. Essentially, Gati Shakti is a state-of-the-art digitally integrated platform that uses technology to make infrastructure related information available to all key stakeholders at various levels — central, state, urban civic bodies and even panchayats, which in turn will enable the implementation of countless projects to get simplified, more efficient, and most importantly, make them tremendously speedier.
By facilitating seamless multimodal connectivity as well as improved intra-governmental coordination through dynamic, real-time collaboration between different agencies or departments, the PM Gati Shakti Yojana shall not only give a major boost to the country’s logistics and transport sectors and industrial corridors, but also in the near future, is bound to create more job opportunities and industries, reduce turnaround times drastically and improve productivity in terms of project executions, enhance transparency and accountability in the ecosystem, and in the long run, it has the potential to optimize India’s manufacturing competitiveness and its pace of overall industrial growth and GDP growth in the years to come.
A holistic approach to infrastructure management is now more critical than ever before, as we have already reached an era where infrastructure is not seen any more as a simple network consisting of individual assets, but the infrastructure and allied sectors are now being considered as large interconnected systems. And in terms of keeping the nation in sync with this paradigm shift within the infrastructural development space, the Gati Shakti Master Plan has indeed hit the ‘bull’s eye’ with its commendable and time-relevant vision of encouraging “Holistic Infrastructure Growth”.
We strongly believe that the Gati Shakti Yojana will not only foster infrastructural and industrial growth in India but bolster the country’s overall economic prosperity. Undoubtedly, this is a landmark step towards enabling progressive economic growth of India; and we are excited to see the future unfold as India unleashes its astounding growth potential by harnessing ‘Gati’ (Speed) and ‘Shakti’ (Power) simultaneously and strategically.
(The author is Director, ARETE Group. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of the Financial Express Online.)