New Delhi, India (Urban Transport News): While presenting Union Budget 2022-23 in Parliament today, Union Finance Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman proposed to form a high-level committee of reputed urban planners, urban economists and institutions to make recommendations on urban sector policies, capacity building, planning, implementation and governance to steer a paradigm change.
Smt. Sitharaman said that urban planning cannot continue with a business-as-usual approach as by the time India is @100, nearly half our population is likely to be living in urban areas. To prepare for this, orderly urban development is of critical importance as this will help realise the country’s economic potential, including livelihood opportunities for the demographic dividend. For this, on the one hand we need to nurture the megacities and their hinterlands to become current centres of economic growth. On the other hand, we need to facilitate tier 2 and 3 cities to take on the mantle in the future.
PM GatiShakti is a transformative approach for economic growth and sustainable development. The approach is driven by seven engines, namely, Roads, Railways, Airports, Ports, Mass Transport, Waterways, and Logistics Infrastructure. While presenting the Union Budget 2022-23 in Parliament today the Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs, Smt Nirmala Sitharaman said all seven engines will pull forward the economy in unison. These engines are supported by the complementary roles of Energy Transmission, IT Communication, Bulk Water & Sewerage, and Social Infrastructure. She said finally, the approach is powered by Clean Energy and Sabka Prayas – the efforts of the Central Government, the state governments, and the private sector together – leading to huge job and entrepreneurial opportunities for all, especially the youth.
Finance Minister said the scope of PM GatiShakti National Master Plan will encompass the seven engines for economic transformation, seamless multimodal connectivity and logistics efficiency. It will also include the infrastructure developed by the state governments as per the GatiShakti Master Plan. The focus will be on planning, financing including through innovative ways, use of technology, and speedier implementation.
Smt Sitharaman said the projects pertaining to these 7 engines in the National Infrastructure Pipeline will be aligned with PM GatiShakti framework. The touchstone of the Master Plan will be world-class modern infrastructure and logistics synergy among different modes of movement – both of people and goods – and location of projects. She said this will help raise productivity, and accelerate economic growth and development.
Finance Minister said PM GatiShakti Master Plan for Expressways will be formulated in 2022-23 to facilitate faster movement of people and goods. The National Highways network will be expanded by 25,000 km in 2022-23. She said Rs 20,000 crore will be mobilized through innovative ways of financing to complement the public resources.
Smt Sitharaman said the data exchange among all mode operators will be brought on Unified Logistics Interface Platform (ULIP), designed for Application Programming Interface (API). This will provide for efficient movement of goods through different modes, reducing logistics cost and time, assisting just-in-time inventory management, and in eliminating tedious documentation. Most importantly, this will provide real time information to all stakeholders, and improve international competitiveness. She said open-source mobility stack, for organizing seamless travel of passengers will also be facilitated.
Contracts for implementation of Multimodal Logistics Parks at four locations through PPP mode will be awarded in 2022-23.
A total of Rs 140,367.13 crore has been allocated for Railways.
Finance Minister said Railways will develop new products and efficient logistics services for small farmers and Small and Medium Enterprises, besides taking the lead in integration of Postal and Railways networks to provide seamless solutions for movement of parcels.
She said ‘One Station-One Product’ concept will be popularized to help local businesses & supply chains.
As a part of Atmanirbhar Bharat, 2,000 km of network will be brought under Kavach, the indigenous world-class technology for safety and capacity augmentation in 2022-23. Smt Sitharaman said four hundred new-generation Vande Bharat Trains with better energy efficiency and passenger riding experience will be developed and manufactured during the next three years.
She said one hundred PM GatiShakti Cargo Terminals for multimodal logistics facilities will be developed during the next three years.
During her speed Finance Minister announced launching of 400 new Vande Bharat Semi High Speed Trains. "400 new generation Vande Bharat trains with better efficiency to be brought in the next 3 years; 100 PM Gati Shakti Cargo terminals to be developed during next 3 years and implementation of innovative ways for building metro rail systems," said Sitharaman.
In a major boost to regional connectivity in NCR, Government of India has allocated Rs 4,710 crores to country’s first Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) project. This amount will be used for speedy implementation of 82.15 km Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut RRTS Corridor.
Finance Minister said innovative ways of financing and faster implementation will be encouraged for building metro systems of appropriate type at scale. Multimodal connectivity between mass urban transport and railway stations will be facilitated on priority. She said design of metro systems, including civil structures, will be re-oriented and standardized for Indian conditions and needs.
Smt Sitharaman said as a preferred ecologically sustainable alternative to conventional roads in difficult hilly areas, National Ropeways Development Programme will be taken up on PPP mode. She said the aim is to improve connectivity and convenience for commuters, besides promoting tourism. This may also cover congested urban areas, where conventional mass transit system is not feasible. She said contracts for 8 ropeway projects for a length of 60 km will be awarded in 2022-23.
Finance Minister said with technical support from the Capacity Building Commission, central ministries, state governments, and their infra-agencies will have their skills upgraded. This will ramp up capacity in planning, design, financing (including innovative ways), and implementation management of the PM GatiShakti infrastructure projects.
For 2022-23, Finance Minister proposed allocation of Rs. 1 lakh crore to assist the states in catalysing overall investments in the economy. These fifty-year interest free loans are over and above the normal borrowings allowed to the states.
This allocation will be used for PM GatiShakti related and other productive capital investment of the states. It will also include components for: