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Game plan:Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaking at the launch of ‘PM Gati Shakti’ in New Delhi on Wednesday.PTI-  

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday kicked off ‘PM Gati Shakti’, a national master plan for synchronising connectivity infrastructure projects across modes of transport, and said it will help India realise its dream of becoming the “business capital” of the world.

Taking on “some political parties” for criticising infrastructure projects that he said were necessary for the country, Mr. Modi said, “The subject of infrastructure has not been a priority for most of India’s political parties.”

“This is not even visible in their manifesto… despite the fact that it is globally accepted that the creation of quality infrastructure for sustainable development is a proven way, which gives rise to many economic activities and creates employment on a large scale,” he said.

Referring to common instances of roads being built only to be dug up afresh for work necessitated by other utilities like water, the Prime Minister said there was a wide gap between macro planning and micro implementation due to the lack of coordination and advance information sharing as departments think and work in silos. This, he said, was leading to hampered construction and wastage of budget resources.

Logistics hubs

Citing the example of Dadri, where an integrated industrial township was coming up, the Prime Minister said India needed similar “plug and play” infrastructure so that investors could just come and begin working seamlessly.

Like in Greater Noida’s Dadri, such an integrated township could be connected to the eastern and western dedicated freight corridor. For that, multimodal logistics hubs would be built alongside, which would have a state-of-the-art railway terminus, inter and intra-State bus terminus, mass rapid transport system and other conveniences.

“By building these across different parts of the country, India could achieve the dream of becoming the world’s business capital,” he underlined.

“Our goals are extraordinary and will require extraordinary efforts. In realising these goals, PM Gati Shakti will be the most helpful factor. Just as JAM [Jan Dhan, Aadhar, Mobile] trinity revolutionised the access of government facilities to the people, PM Gati Shakti will do the same for the field of Infrastructure,” Mr. Modi said.

Recalling his initial findings after taking over as the Prime Minister in 2014, Mr. Modi said he reviewed hundreds of stalled infrastructure projects and decided to put all projects on a single platform and tried to remove hurdles. Now, with a “whole of government approach”, the collective power of the government is being channelled into fulfilling the schemes by avoiding delays caused by coordination gaps.

“Because of this, many unfinished projects are being completed for decades now,” he said, citing improved infrastructure outcomes in the past seven years across sectors, ranging from railway line electrification to gas pipelines, metro rail services and mega food parks.

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