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PM’s address at the launch of PM Gati Shakti, National Master Plan for Multi-Modal Connectivity

PM’s address at the launch of PM Gati Shakti, National Master Plan for Multi-Modal Connectivity

Namaskar!

My colleagues in the Union Cabinet Shri Nitin Gadkari ji, Shri Piyush Goyal ji, Shri Hardeep Singh Puri ji, Shri Sarbananda Sonowal ji, Shri Jyotiraditya Scindia ji, Shri Ashwini Vaishnav ji, Shri Raj Kumar Singh ji, Chief Ministers of different States, Lieutenant Governors, Members of the State Cabinet, industry colleagues, other excellencies and my dear brothers and sisters,

Today is Durga Ashtami. Today Shakti Swarupa is being worshiped all over the country and so is Kanya Puja. And on this propitious occasion of worshiping Shakti, auspicious work is being done to give strength to the pace of development of the country.

This period is 75 years of India’s independence, the virtuous era of independence. With the resolve of AatmaNirbhar Bharat, we are building the foundation of India for the next 25 years. The PM GatiShakti National Master Plan will propel India’s self-confidence towards the resolve of self-reliance. This National Master Plan will give impetus to India of the 21st century. Next generation infrastructure and multimodal connectivity will get momentum from this national plan. This national plan will give impetus to the government policies related to infrastructure, from planning to execution. This GatiShakti National Plan will provide accurate information and guidance for the completion of the government’s projects within the stipulated time-frame.

At the center of this great campaign of Gati Shakti (speed and power) are the people, the industry, the business world, the manufacturers and the farmers of India. This will provide new energy to the present and future generations of India to build the India of the 21st century, eliminating all the obstacles in their way. I am privileged that I have got the opportunity to launch the PM GatiShakti National Master Plan on this auspicious day.

Friends,

Today four exhibition halls of the International Exhibition-cum-Convention Center being built at Pragati Maidan have also been inaugurated. This is also an important step related to modern infrastructure in Delhi. These exhibition centers will go a long way in helping our MSMEs, handicrafts and cottage industries to showcase their products and expanding their reach to the global market. I convey my best wishes to the people of Delhi and the country.

Friends,

The way the government dispensation has worked in the country for decades, people’s perception of the government is all about poor quality, long delays, unnecessary hurdles and insult to public money. I am using the word insult because the successive governments were not concerned that even a single penny should not be wasted while using the public money which is given to the government in the form of taxes. It continued like this. The people had also become accustomed that the country would run like this. They used to get upset and become sad at the pace of the progress of other countries and were reconciled to the fact that nothing would change. As we saw the documentary just now, it was visible everywhere – Work In Progress signage. But the people were not sure whether that work would be completed and that too on time. The Work in Progress signage board in a way had become the symbol of distrust. How would the country progress in such a situation? Progress will be considered only when there is momentum, an impatience for speed and a collective effort.

Leaving behind that old-fashioned government approach, India of the 21st century is moving forward. Today’s mantra is – ‘Will for Progress’, ‘Work for Progress’, ‘Wealth for Progress’, ‘Plan for Progress’ and ‘Preference for Progress’. Not only did we develop a work culture of completing the projects within the stipulated time frame, efforts are now being made to complete the projects before time. If today India is committed to invest maximum for building modern infrastructure, it is also taking every step so that projects do not get delayed, there are no obstacles and work is completed on time.

Friends,

Even the common man, who builds a small house, makes proper planning. When some mega university or college is built, even that is built with complete planning. The scope of its expansion is also considered in advance. But unfortunately, we notice several drawbacks in comprehensive planning related to infrastructure projects. Wherever little work has happened, we find that the railways is doing its own planning, the road transport department is doing its planning, the telecom department has its own planning, the gas network is being done with different planning. Similarly, different departments make different plans.

We have often seen that when a road was built, the water department would come after it was ready. It would again dig the road for laying water pipes. It has been going on like this. Sometimes, those who were building roads made dividers. Then the traffic police would demand its removal because it would cause traffic jams. If a circle was made at any intersection, then instead of smooth traffic there used to be chaos. We have seen this happening across the country. In such a situation, it takes a lot of effort when projects need to be synchronized. It takes a lot of effort to fix the mistakes.

Friends,

The root cause of all these problems is that there is a huge difference between macro planning and micro implementation. Different departments are not even aware which department is preparing to start which project and where. States also do not have such information in advance. Due to such silos, the decision process is also affected and there is a waste of budget. The biggest disadvantage is that instead of multiplying energy, the energy gets divided. Even our private players do not know exactly whether any road will pass through that area in future, or a canal is going to be built, or any power station is going to come up. As a result, they too are not able to plan better. The solution to all these problems lies with the PM GatiShakti National Master Plan. When we proceed according to the master plan, our resources will also be optimized.

Friends,

Infrastructure has been far from the priority of most political parties in our country. It does not even figure in their manifestos. Now the situation is such that some political parties have started criticizing the construction of the infrastructure necessary for the country. It is an accepted fact in the world that the creation of quality infrastructure for sustainable development leads to many economic activities, creating employment on a very large scale. As we cannot achieve the required results in any field without skilled manpower, similarly, we cannot make all-round development without better and modern infrastructure.

Friends,

Along with the lack of political will, the country’s infrastructure development suffered the most due to lack of coordination among government departments and internecine tussle. We have seen tensions between the state governments and local bodies in this regard in states too. As a result, the projects, which should have been helpful in fuelling the economic growth of the country, become obstacles to the development of the country. Over time, these long pending projects lose their relevance and even their exigency. When I came to Delhi in 2014 with a new responsibility, there were hundreds of projects that were stuck for decades. I personally reviewed hundreds of such projects worth lakhs of crores of rupees. I brought all the departments and ministries of the government on one common umbrella platform and tried to remove all the obstacles. I am satisfied that now everyone’s attention has been drawn to the fact that projects should not be delayed due to lack of coordination. Now the collective power of the government is being used to complete the schemes. Due to this many projects which have remained incomplete for decades are being completed.

Friends,

The PM GatiShakti will now ensure that India of the 21st century does not waste money or time due to lack of coordination in infrastructure projects. Under the PM GatiShakti National Master Plan, everything is being linked from roads to railways, from aviation to agriculture, various ministries and departments. A technology platform has also been prepared for every mega project so that every department has the right and accurate information on time. Today the Chief Ministers of many states and other representatives of the states are also associated with this program. I urge all the states to speed up projects to join the PM GatiShakti National Master Plan. The people of the state will also benefit a lot from this.

Friends,

The PM GatiShakti Master Plan not only seeks to bring together the government processes and its various stakeholders, but it also helps to integrate different modes of transportation. It is an extension of holistic governance. For example, the houses under government schemes for the poor have not only boundary walls, but there are facilities like toilets, electricity, water, gas connection etc. The same vision is there in the master plan for infrastructure. In the past, we have seen that special zones were announced for industries but there was no seriousness in providing connectivity or electricity-water-telecom facilities.

Friends,

It was also very common that there was no rail connectivity where most of the mining work was done. We have also seen that wherever there were ports, rail or road facilities to connect the port to the city were missing. Due to these reasons, the cost of production, exports and logistics has always been very high in India. This is, no doubt, a big obstacle in the making of a self-reliant India.

According to a study, logistics cost in India is about 13 percent of the GDP. This is not the case in the major countries of the world. Due to the high logistics cost, the competitiveness of India’s exports is greatly affected. Indian exporters have to spend lakhs of crores of rupees on the cost of transporting goods to the port from the production centre. As a result, the price of their products increases astronomically. Their products become very expensive compared to other nations. In the field of agriculture also, our farmers have to suffer a lot due to this. Therefore, the need of the hour is to increase seamless connectivity and strengthen last mile connectivity in India. Therefore, the PM GatiShakti National Master Plan is a very important step. In the days to come, each type of infrastructure will support and complement the other. And I think every stakeholder will have all the reasons to get inspired to join it enthusiastically.

Friends,

The PM GatiShakti National Master Plan will also provide an analytical and decision making tool to the investors and also to all the stakeholders involved in the policy making of the country. This will help governments in drawing effective planning and policy, saving unnecessary government expenditure and entrepreneurs will also get all the information related to a project. This will also help the state governments in determining their priorities. When such a data based mechanism is in place in the country, every state government will be able to give time bound commitments to the investors. As a result, India’s growing reputation as an investment destination will get a new height and a new dimension. The countrymen will get the best quality at a low cost and the youth will get many new employment opportunities.

Friends,

For the development of the country, it is imperative that there is synergy among all the government departments related to the infrastructure and they utilize each other’s collective power. Over the years, this approach has given India unprecedented momentum. Compared to the last 70 years, India today is working on more speed and scale than ever before.

Friends,

The first interstate natural gas pipeline in India was commissioned in 1987. After this, till 2014, i.e. in 27 years, 15,000 km of natural gas pipeline was built in the country. Today, work is underway on more than 16,000 km of new gas pipelines across the country. This work is targeted to be completed in the next 5-6 years. In other words, we are aiming to do more work in half the time than what was done in 27 years. This speed of work is becoming the identity of India today. In the five years before 2014, the doubling of only 1,900 km of railway lines was done. In the last seven years, we have doubled more than 9,000 kilometers of railway lines. See the difference between 1,900 and 7,000 km! In the five years before 2014, only 3,000 km of railway tracks were electrified. In the last seven years, we have electrified more than 24,000 kilometers of railway tracks. Earlier 3,000 km was electrified and now 24,000 km. Before 2014, the Metro was running on only about 250 kms of track, today the Metro has been expanded to 700 kms and work is progressing on the 1,000 kms new Metro route. In the five years before 2014, only 60 panchayats could be connected with optical fiber. In the last seven years, we have connected more than 1.5 lakh gram panchayats with optical fiber. Along with the expansion of traditional means of connectivity, inland waterways and seaplanes, the country is also getting new infrastructure. There were only five waterways in the country till 2014. Today 13 waterways are functioning in the country. Before 2014, the vessel turnaround time at our ports was more than 41 hours. Now it has come down to 27 hours. Efforts are also being made to reduce it further.

Friends,

Apart from connectivity, new impetus has also been given to the construction of other necessary infrastructure. The entire network of power generation to transmission has been transformed and the resolve of One Nation One Power Grid has been realised. Till 2014, where there were 3 lakh circuit kilometers of power transmission lines in the country, today it has increased to more than 4.25 lakh circuit kilometers. Where we were a very marginal player in terms of new and renewable energy, today we have reached the top five countries of the world. With more than 100 GW, India has achieved almost three times the installed capacity which was there in 2014.

Friends,

Today a modern ecosystem of aviation is being developed rapidly. Along with the construction of new airports in the country to increase air connectivity, we have also opened up more airspace. In the last one or two years, more than 100 air routes have been reviewed and their distance has been reduced. Areas over which passenger planes were banned from flying have also been removed. This single decision has reduced airtime between many cities. In order to strengthen the aviation sector, a new MRO policy has been formulated, the work on GST has been completed and pilots have been trained.

Friends,

These efforts have convinced the country that we can work at a faster pace and realize big goals and dreams. Now both the expectation and aspiration of the country have increased. Therefore, our resolutions for the next 3-4 years have also become huge. Now the target of the country is to reduce the logistics costs, increase the cargo capacity of the railways, increase the port cargo capacity, and reduce the turnaround time of vessels. In the next 4-5 years, more than 200 airports, helipads and water aerodromes are going to be ready in the country. Our present gas pipeline network of about 19,000 kms will also be almost doubled.

Friends,

In order to increase the income of the farmers and fishermen, the infrastructure related to processing is also being expanded rapidly. In 2014, there were only two mega food parks in the country. Today 19 mega food parks are functioning in the country. Now the target is to take this number to more than 40. The number of fishing clusters, fishing harbors and landing centers has grown from 40 to over 100 in the last seven years. We are aiming to increase this by more than two times.

Friends,

For the first time, extensive efforts are being made in the defence sector as well. Work is underway on two Defence Corridors in Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh. Today, we are becoming one of the leading countries in electronics and IT manufacturing rapidly. At one point, we had five manufacturing clusters. Today we have created 15 manufacturing clusters and we are aiming to double this. Four industrial corridors have been started in the last few years and now the number of such corridors is being increased to a dozen.

Friends,

The construction of plug-and-play infrastructure is an example of the approach with which the government is working today. Now there is an effort to provide plug-and-play infrastructure facilities to the industry. That is, the domestic and foreign investors just have to set up their system and start working. For example, an integrated industrial township is coming up in Dadri, Greater Noida. It is being linked to the ports of eastern and western India through a dedicated freight corridor. A multimodal logistics hub will be set up here. A multimodal transport hub will be built next to it. The state-of-the-art railway terminus will have inter and intra state bus terminus and will be supported by mass rapid transit system and other facilities. By building similar facilities in different parts of the country, India can fulfill its dream of becoming the business capital of the world.

Friends,

All these goals that I have listed are not ordinary goals. Therefore, the efforts and methods to achieve them will also be unprecedented. And they will get maximum strength from the PM GatiShakti National Master Plan. Just as we have been successful in delivering the government facilities to the genuine beneficiary faster with the power of JAM trinity i.e. Jan Dhan-Aadhaar-Mobile, the PM GatiShakti is going to do the same in the field of infrastructure. It is coming up with a holistic vision from infrastructure planning to execution. Once again, I invite all the State Governments to become part of this initiative. This is the time to mobilize, to do something for the country in this 75th year of independence. This is my request to everyone associated with this program.

I thank you all for joining this important program and I am sure that the private players will also analyse the Prime Minister GatiShakti Master Plan very closely. They can also chart their future strategy by becoming part of it and reach a new level of development. Before I pause, I wish you all the very best for the holy festival of Navratri and for this momentous work on the occasion of the worship of Shakti.

Many thanks and best wishes!