The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has unveiled a comprehensive plan for six critical infrastructure projects, collectively valued at over Rs 28,000 crore. This announcement came during the 53rd National Planning Group (NPG) meeting held under the banner of the PM GatiShakti initiative.
Among the slated projects, three are earmarked to elevate the railway sector, while the remaining three are aimed at bolstering road transport and highways. This holistic approach is part of the Ministry’s commitment to enhance national connectivity and stimulate economic growth.
Led by Sumita Dawra, the Special Secretary of Logistics at the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, the NPG meeting proposed these projects with a clear objective – to optimize connectivity to villages and key industrial hubs. By circumventing congested and densely populated areas, the projects aim to drastically reduce travel times. Beyond this, the initiatives are anticipated to create new business avenues and generate significant local employment.
One standout railway project in focus is the Barbil-Nayagarh-Barsuan and Bhadrasahi-Kiriburu line, an endeavor projected to cost Rs 12,532.87 crore. This initiative adheres to the GatiShakti principles of area-based development, linking vital stations such as Barbil, Barsuan, and Kiriburu of the southeastern railway, along with Nayagarh on the east coast railway network.
Further, the NPG assessed the viability of the Malkangiri to Bhadrachalam railway line, a cross-state venture spanning Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana, with an estimated budget of Rs 3,591.76 crore.
Turning to road networks, the NPG placed emphasis on the proposed Vaibhavwadi-Kolhapur link in Maharashtra, a project valued at Rs 3,411.17 crore. This strategic route is envisioned to facilitate thermal coal transportation for regional power plants in Maharashtra and Karnataka, in addition to serving other industries. Notably, the plan also factored in connectivity for areas of tourist interest, expanding beyond industrial considerations.
In the road sector, the NPG reviewed the Hassan-Raichur Economic Corridor 20 (EC20), a project falling under the Bharatmala Pariyojana by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. Estimated at Rs 6,274.75 crore, this initiative aligns with the overarching aim of efficient road networks.
Furthermore, the NPG scrutinized two key road projects: the six-laning of the Gonde to Pimpri-Sado section of NH-848 (valued at Rs 936.03 crore) and the four-laning of the Satai ghat to Kaimaha stretch near the MP/UP border (estimated at Rs 2,128.58 crore). These endeavors are set to alleviate traffic congestion on existing highways, ensuring smoother freight movement and improved highway management.
In sum, the Ministry’s recommendations for these transformative infrastructure projects underscore a commitment to robust connectivity, economic advancement, and the facilitation of efficient movement across various sectors.