The Center is considering publishing GatiShakti’s national master plan in the public domain, the Ministry of Trade and Industry said on Tuesday.
At the moment, only state and central government ministries and departments can access the portal to execute infrastructure projects on a time-limited basis.
The government has already started working on its guidelines before making the portal public. Preparing protocols for private user access is crucial, considering data security concerns.
The deliberation came during a Prime Minister GatiShakti review meeting chaired by Trade and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Tuesday.
Launched in October 2021, GatiShakti’s national master plan is becoming a digital platform. It is integrating the existing portal and data from key infrastructure ministries as well as state governments. It has been prepared depicting the economic zones and the infrastructure links necessary to support them.
The review meeting discussed plans for faster integration of data into the portal. With more than 900 data layers updated by central ministries and 316 essential layers by states and Union Territories, the meeting noted that various ministries use it to share their proposed projects, according to an official statement.
“The meeting particularly emphasized the role that the National Master Plan could play in decision-making for the social sector.
Since its launch, the portal has been able to reduce red tape, which has led to faster implementation of projects,” the statement says.
According to industry department special secretary Amrit Lal Meena, with the central and state ministry portals now fully operational, all essential data layers have been uploaded. It will allow infrastructure ministries to make extensive use of the master plan for all pending and future projects.
He also added that government departments have started making use of the digital technology initiative led by Prime Minister Gati Shakti to reduce the execution time of infrastructure projects.
“The new Taranga Hill-Ambaji-Abu Road broad gauge railway line had stalled its pre-alignment for almost six months due to lack of data from khasra, field surveys on forests and wildlife sanctuaries and lack of visibility of the intersection with mining areas. It was completed in just seven days using the National Master Plan.
A senior official representing the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways also shared that the previous alignment of five new corridors was accelerated using the National Master Plan,” Meena said in the statement.
Developing the project alignment at the prefeasibility stage of an infrastructure project is a critical step toward preparing a detailed project report (DPR).
Developing the project alignment is costly and time consuming as inspection teams must be present on the ground and manually complete the process.
With the Center’s push towards Gati Shakti and the use of the digital portal, the lineup can be drawn digitally in less than a week. Normally, this task would have taken three or four months.
The meeting deliberated on the progress achieved so far and was attended by several senior officials from the Ministry of Railways, Highways, Ministry of Steel, Ministry of Coal and the National Bhaskaracharya Institute for Space Applications and Geoinformatics, among others.