GatiShakti One Year on: The Government Sets Grand New Goals

As the GatiShakti initiative will reduce project delays and cost overruns, it will allow various infrastructure ministries and departments to meet their goals.

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GatiShakti One Year on: The Government Sets Grand New Goals

As the PM GatiShakti programme enters its second year, the government has set highly ambitious medium-term targets for various infrastructure ministries.

According to a presentation on the GatiShakti targets prepared by the commerce and industry ministry and reviewed by FE, the cumulative highways construction under the ministry of road transport and highways is now targeted to be increased to 200,000 km by FY25 from 141,190 km in the previous fiscal. Similarly, railway freight loading will be increased to 1,600 million tonne by FY25 from 1,410 million tonne in FY22.

The number of airports, heliports, and water aerodromes, including those under the UDAN scheme, is expected to rise from 140 in FY22 to 220 by FY25. The cargo handling capacity at ports will be increased from 1,189 MTPA to 1,759 MTPA. The country’s 20,000-kilometer-long oil and gas pipeline network will be expanded to 34,500 kilometres by FY25.

The capacity of new and renewable energy is expected to increase to 225 gigatonnes by FY25, up from 87.7 gigatonnes last fiscal year. Similarly, the number of panchayats connected to the optical fibre cable is expected to increase from 175,827 to over 260,000.

Because the GatiShakti initiative will reduce delays and cost overruns on key projects, various infrastructure ministries and departments will be able to meet their targets on time, according to a senior official.

Thus, targets have been established for the ministries of road transport and highways, railways, civil aviation, port and shipping, petroleum, new and renewable energy, and telecommunications. The GatiShakti initiatives aim to bridge India’s infrastructure deficit, which is due to inefficient project implementation rather than financial constraints.

According to the most recent official data, as many as 393 infrastructure projects with investments of Rs 150 crore or more experienced cost overruns of up to Rs 4.66 trillion until August. While the total original cost of 1,526 projects under construction was Rs 21.26 trillion, the estimated completion cost is now Rs 25.92 trillion, representing a cost overrun of nearly 22%.

According to official sources, this initiative now covers all large infrastructure projects worth Rs 500 crore and critical’missing-link’ projects (those that typically connect two or more important projects where no link currently exists).

As many as 26 states have integrated various data categories with the GatiShakti portal, which is widely used by both the central and state governments.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the PM GatiShakti National Master Plan on October 13 of last year. It is essentially a GIS (geographic information system)-based platform with approximately 1,900 layers (and counting) that captures all utilities and network connections in various economic clusters. Under this initiative, various departments collaborate to develop projects in a coordinated manner, particularly to address first and last-mile connectivity issues and reduce logistics costs.

“Just as the JAM (Jan Dhan, Aadhaar, mobile) trinity revolutionised access to government facilities for the people, PM GatiShakti will do the same for the field of infrastructure,” Modi said when announcing the launch of GatiShakti.

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