In a significant development aimed at bolstering the nation’s connectivity and fostering economic growth, the 54th Network Planning Group (NPG) meeting convened under the aegis of Special Secretary, Logistics, Smt. Sumita Dawra, has recommended four pivotal infrastructure projects. These projects, two in the realm of roadways and two in railways, come with an estimated cost exceeding Rs. 7,600 crore.
Participated actively by representatives from various Ministries including Road Transport and Highways, Railways, Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Petroleum and Natural Gas, and Power, the meeting deliberated on projects aimed at enhancing India’s transport and logistics landscape.
Stressing on Integrated Approach and National Master Plan Portal
Smt. Dawra emphasized the paramount importance of adopting the ‘whole of government’ approach and the utilization of the GatiShakti National Master Plan portal for streamlined infrastructure planning and execution. She underscored the critical role these projects play in terms of enhancing connectivity to economic and social hubs within regions, emphasizing the need for an Area Development Approach.
Roadway Projects for Enhanced Connectivity and Economic Growth
One of the key road projects assessed was the four-lane Thiruvananthapuram Outer Ring Road (ORR) in Kerala under the ambit of Bharatmala Pariyojana. This project, valued at Rs 4,767.20 Crore, is an integral part of the Mumbai-Kanyakumari Economic Corridor. The Thiruvananthapuram ORR project is poised to facilitate seamless and expedited connectivity between the Eastern and Northern regions, catalyzing economic growth in hitherto economically disadvantaged regions. Notably, the project will trim travel time, reduce vehicle operation costs, and provide crucial last-mile connectivity to the emerging international sea port in Vizhinjam.
The second road project, the Dahod-Bodeli-Vapi Corridor, with a budget allocation of Rs 1,179.33 Crore, aims to forge enhanced connectivity between Vadodara, Mumbai, and Delhi. This strategic corridor will contribute to improved road networks, trimmed travel durations, and reduced transportation costs. Moreover, the project is poised to stimulate socio-economic development and tourism within the regions it traverses.
Railway Projects to Alleviate Pressure and Boost Connectivity
Delving into the realm of railways, NPG examined a new broad gauge railway line connecting Pushkar to Merta in Rajasthan. Valued at Rs 799.64 Crores, this proposed rail line is expected to offer a direct link between Central and Northern India while also mitigating pressure on highways and easing the movement of goods.
In a similar vein, the NPG assessed another rail project in Rajasthan – a new broad-gauge line between Merta City and Ras Railway Stations with an estimated cost of Rs 947 Crore. This railway line is set to expedite the movement of goods, facilitating industrial and overall development across the Pali and Nagaur districts of Rajasthan.
The outcomes of the 54th NPG meeting underpin the government’s unwavering commitment to comprehensive infrastructure development, which remains pivotal for sustainable growth and improved connectivity across the nation. The approval and progression of these projects stand as a testament to India’s determination to foster an integrated, efficient, and modern transport network that caters to both present needs and future aspirations.