Gati Shakti- National portal of India to be ready by March end

A digital platform for the national master plan of infrastructure projects, the ‘Gati Shakti program’ will be ready by March 31, 2022, according to a senior government official.

“All infrastructure projects will be mapped on the national masterplan [portal]. 75% of data from Central ministries on their infrastructure projects have already been uploaded. We are now training State governments to share their data. We are hopeful that the national masterplan [portal] will be ready by March-end,” Amrit Lal Meena, Special Secretary, Department for Promotion of Investment and Internal Trade told The Hindu.

The Gati Shakti national master plan (NMP) announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 13, 2021, is a centralized portal, that will be enabling “institutionalizing” planning, designing, and execution among 17 different Ministries in the Centre as well as States. Including projects worth ₹100 lakh crore, the program aims to cut down logistical costs and improve supply chains.

“The national masterplan will show us geographical features such as forests, water bodies, mines, religious and archaeological sites and help us plan alignment of infrastructure projects so that we can circumvent these. Earlier, projects would be planned from within the confines of offices,” Mr. Meena said.

The portal at present has already been populated by 370 “layers” of data critical for infrastructure planning, comprising information about the road, rail, port and inland waterways, aviation, natural gas pipeline, water supply pipelines, telecom infrastructure, forest wildlife, eco-sensitive zones, water resources, rivers, embankments, canals, dams, tourism sites, economic zones, industrial parks. It also comprises features like soil type, seismicity, etc. 

Once ready, ready, all detailed project reports of infrastructure projects will have to be prepared on the portal, which will be scrutinized and appraised by a Network Planning Group (NPG) at the Centre. 

Looking over the NPG is the Empowered Group of Secretaries headed by the Cabinet Secretary which will not only review, monitor, and amends the projects, but will also layout a procedure and a timeframe for synchronization of various activities. 

The website will also enable States to plan their economic zones as well as carry out infrastructure gap audits. 

Furthermore, the program will give access to the public and business community on information regarding the upcoming connectivity projects, business hubs, industrial areas, and surrounding environment so that investors can take a thorough approach when planning their businesses at suitable locations. 

However, what kind of information will be accessible to the public is yet uncertain as sensitive infrastructure information such as that of defense corridors is involved. 

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