New Delhi, Jan 6: The 63rd Network Planning Group (NPG) meeting was convened on January 4, 2023 at Vanijya Bhawan, New Delhi chaired by Special Secretary (Logistics), DPIIT, Sumita Dawra.
The meeting witnessed active participation from key Ministries and Departments including Ministry of Road, Transport & Highways (MoRTH), Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA), Ministry of Railways (MoR), the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways (MoPSW), the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Ministry of Power (MoP), Ministry of Defence and NITI Aayog.
During the meeting, NPG discussed three projects pertaining to MoR (1) and MoRTH (2), with an aggregate project cost of more than Rs. 5,000 Cr. These included a new railway line project passing through the States of Odisha and Chhattisgarh. This project will facilitate coal transportation from coal mines to various industries/thermal power plants in the Northern/Western part of the country. The project's scope extends to bridging the last-mile gap to numerous coal blocks, will reduce the congestion on the existing railway main line, enhancing overall efficiency, while connecting the mines to Paradip Port for coastal shipping route as well. It was noted that care has been taken while planning the rail line to minimise intersection of the project with the forest, besides ensuring road connectivity for access to planned Multimodal Logistics Park.
It was acknowledged that the primary objective behind the GatiShakti planning initiative is to enhance multimodal connectivity by establishing links to pivotal industrial and business hubs while strategically bypassing congested areas. Beyond mere infrastructure development, these projects aspire to create a ripple effect by expanding business prospects and fostering local socio-economic development and employment opportunities.
The Mirzapur-Ayodhya Corridor was also examined by the NPG and it involves construction of bypass roads to two important cities in the densely populated region. The anticipated impact of this project on overall logistics efficiency will be substantial, with a remarkable reduction in travel time. Moreover, the road project improves connectivity to the Varanasi Multi-Modal Terminal, potentially promoting a modal shift in favor of environmentally friendly and cost-effective inland waterway transportation.
After construction of these Greenfield alignments, substantial commercial traffic will bypass and decongest the main city area. The corridor is poised to deliver substantial socio-economic benefits, including the generation of job opportunities, improved access to tourism and religious sites, and enhanced road connectivity to key economic centers, industrial zones, and agricultural regions along the route. This, in turn, will boost economic activities, trade, and investments in the region, stimulating the growth of ancillary infrastructure such as warehouses, distribution centers, and logistics hubs.
Another significant project discussed in the NPG meeting was development of a Multi-Modal Logistics Park (MMLP) in Andhra Pradesh. This project is poised to enhance logistics efficiency by serving as an aggregation and disaggregation hub for nearby industrial clusters, improving multi-modal rail-road connectivity and through modal shift in favor of rail for long haul bulk cargo transportation. Strategically positioned near Bengaluru and Chennai, the MMLP is also in close proximity to existing railway line. This location ensures optimal connectivity and accessibility to key economic hubs.
Special Secretary emphasized that these projects integrate various modes of transport and offer substantial socio-economic benefits and will contribute to the overall development of the regions.
Additionally, she requested the Ministries to incorporate the Area Development Planning Approach in project planning and ensure strong coordination with local authorities, including State Governments and Ministries to identify infrastructural gaps and promote integrated planning. The benefits of using PM GatiShakti NMP portal in project planning were also acknowledged by the NPG members.