The 65th Network Planning Group (NPG) meeting convened in New Delhi, chaired by Sh. Rajeev Singh Thakur, Additional Secretary of the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), to assess five critical infrastructure projects spanning road, rail, and urban transit sectors under the purview of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH), Ministry of Railways (MoR), and Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA).
The NPG’s deliberations were guided by the principles of integrated planning outlined in the PM GatiShakti initiative. Evaluation of these projects was conducted in alignment with the PM GatiShakti National Master Plan (NMP), focusing on enhancing connectivity with economic and social nodes and bolstering multi-modal infrastructure.
The projects under scrutiny included highway developments in Goa, Meghalaya, and Assam, initiated by MoRTH. These encompassed the expansion of a 45-kilometre stretch of NH-66 in Goa and the upgrading of the Mawlyngkhung – Panchgram road in Meghalaya and Assam, spanning a total of 118 kilometres, with 43 kilometres being brownfield and 118 kilometres greenfield. Anticipated benefits encompassed reduced logistics costs, alleviation of traffic congestion, and enhanced traffic flow speed, promising substantial economic advantages.
Additionally, MoR presented a railway project concerning constructing a Rail-Over-Rail (ROR) bulb line spanning approximately 17.49 kilometres in Bihar’s Aurangabad district. This endeavour aimed at grade separation of two railway lines, leading to reduced train detentions, enhanced transit efficiency, and improved capacity utilization of main lines, especially for coal transportation to the nearby Nabinagar power plant.
From MoHUA, two urban transit metro corridor projects in Bangalore and Delhi/NCR were scrutinized. These included the Rithala-Bawana-Narela–Kundli (Haryana) Metro Corridor and Phase-3 of the Bangalore Metro Rail Project, totalling 44.65 kilometres with two corridors. Envisaged outcomes encompassed multi-modal integration with bus and rail stations, congestion alleviation, travel time and fuel cost savings, enhanced operational reliability, and reduced vehicular emissions and pollution. The NPG recommended thorough planning for transitional infrastructure where inter-modal interfaces were involved.
Throughout the meeting, emphasis was placed on these projects’ pivotal role in nation-building by integrating diverse modes of transport, offering substantial socio-economic benefits, and contributing to regional development. The discussions underscored the commitment to realizing the vision of inclusive and sustainable infrastructure development, aligning with the broader objectives of the PM GatiShakti initiative.