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Planning group saves ₹15 crore per km in construction of highways

New Delhi: The Network Planning Group (NPG) under the PM Gati Shakti initiative for logistics efficiency reckons it can save up to 15 crore per km for projects run by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI).

The estimated savings are due to a reduction in the length of roads by integrating various expressway corridors after modifications of alignment for NHAI projects, said Sumita Dawra, who is leading the NPG as special secretary, department for promotion of industry and internal trade.

The NPG, one of three institutional mechanisms established under the PM Gati Shakti initiative, alongside Empowered Group of Secretaries and Technical Support Unit, has assessed 119 infrastructure projects worth $143.26 billion since its inception in October 2021.

It has recommended improvements to over 200 state logistics infrastructure projects valued at $660 million.

In addition to its focus on roads and rail transport, the NPG has developed mechanisms for social sector planning, including gap identification tools for establishing new hospitals, irrigation projects, opening new schools, and addressing road connectivity requirements.

The PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan (NMP), launched in 2021, aims to create integrated and planned infrastructure to reduce logistics costs. Dawra said PMGS has developed more than 75 use-cases ready for implementation.

The NPG’s role includes providing comprehensive data to various ministries, such as education, railways, road transport and highways, health, power, and shipping. This makes for quicker project planning and implementation, said Dawra.

The ministry of road transport and highways (MoRTH) has utilized PMGS for ground surveys, land records, and highway alignments, resulting in time and cost savings, as well as a reduced carbon footprint due to faster alignment finalization, the official said.

Dawra also highlighted the efficiency gains in other ministries. For instance, the ministry of petroleum and natural gas (MoPNG) can now generate reports for pipeline projects within one day, using electronic systems, compared to the previous 6-9 months required for manual preparation.

This has led to significant cost savings, such as 169 crore in the alignment of five pipelines under the North-east gas grid.

The network planning group has identified 192 railway connectivity projects worth 5.26 trillion in just one month on NMP, and 156 infrastructure gaps providing last-mile connectivity to important export-import gateways. A total of 100 of these projects are under sanction in the current financial year.

Dawra said the NPG plays a crucial role in providing mobile connectivity to approximately 26,000 villages where there is no telecom connectivity. The NPG supplies data on land availability for the installation of telecom towers and electric supply stations.

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Updated: 03 Dec 2023, 10:34 PM IST

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