Infrastructure development is a critical enabler to achieve a $20 trillion economy by 2040. The series of structural reforms announced as we enter what PM Narendra Modi
called the ‘Amrit Kaal’ has set the foundation for faster economic growth on the back of infrastructure development.
Last year, a step towards this was taken by launching the PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan (NMP) in October 2021. The ₹100 lakh crore mega plan was launched with a digital platform to bring 16 ministries together for integrated planning and implementation of projects.
In terms of energy infrastructure, PM Modi has demonstrated global leadership by setting an ambitious target of 500 GW of installed non-fossil fuel-based electricity capacity by 2030. With the impetus on renewable energy deployment in the country, we also need an adequate power transmission network to evacuate power from the RE rich zone to the consumption centres. These transmission projects, which would traditionally take 3-4 years to build, need to be completed in an 18-month timeframe to match the project timelines.
The PM GatiShakti National Master Plan (NMP) portal can be a game-changer for such power transmission projects where sometimes more than two-thirds of the time is spent in route planning and sourcing requisite permits and approvals by the transmission project developers.
The portal can help developers digitally identify the most optimal route by giving an accurate location of railway line crossing, highways, and other under construction infra projects and identify RoW (right of way) permits and consent needed.
This would not only save months in development but also allow cost efficiency by ensuring the first-time right route. Integration of single window clearance will be the single biggest enabler in expediting project completion and making the sector attractive to global investors. World over only a few countries have been able to crack this.
The Ministry of Power has already identified nine such high-impact transmission projects across 6 renewable-rich states – Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu – and the requisite details of projects have been mapped in the NMP portal for closer monitoring and faster approvals.
A separate layer of inter-state power transmission network has been created. A significant majority of under-construction transmission projects have also been integrated and remaining are to be integrated after finalisation of the route survey by respective developers.
The focus on optimal planning processes has led to clearly identified transmission infrastructure projects to be developed for meeting green energy goals for next 4-5 years.
Today, the infrastructure sector sits at an inflection point of global disruptions, including shifts in capital availability, evolving social/environmental priorities, and rapid urbanisation. Increased focus on infrastructure development is warranted in the post-pandemic world for faster economic recovery. Prime minister’s vision for India in the next 25 years is both futurist and inclusive with massive investments in modern infrastructure. It has set the path for the nation to move forward with an objective to enhance the lives of citizens, ensuring 24×7 quality power for all, and embracing technology.
And in this journey, with accurate data availability and improved coordination between various ministries and government bodies, the GatiShakti NMP will truly empower the project developers to deliver world-class assets and help realise the India@100 dream of becoming the global business capital and one of the largest economies in the world.
The author is MD, Sterlite Power