• 10 multi-modal hubs likely under transport master plan

    The Narendra Modiled government is working on a Rs 10 lakh-crore National Transport Master Plan that will provide seamless movement of freight and passengers across multiple modes of transport.

    This is the first time that the country will have a National Transport Master Plan, which will be jointly developed by the ministries of road transport and highways, shipping, aviation and railways. The plan will include construction of multi-modal transport hubs that will have railway stations, light railway stations (metro) and bus terminals under one roof.

    “National Transport Master Plan (NTMP) will be a strategic framework and investment plan for sustainable development of the transport infrastructure,” a draft note on the plan said.

    “It will forecast the future transport demands and projected infrastructure and service requirements, and will develop a framework of a transport strategy and investment plans to meet the demands as well as the tools for implementation,” the note said.

    The roads ministry plans to develop 10 such hubs across the country in partnership with railways and shipping ministries. “The construction work for these hubs, which are still in the process of being identified, could be given to National Highways Authority of India,” a government official said.

    Road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari and railway minister Suresh Prabhu are working to have such a plan in place.

    The shipping ministry’s Sagarmala project, which focuses on port-led development of the country, will have several such multi-modal hubs under it. The Sagarmala project includes setting up of coastal economic zones and providing last mile connectivity, which will also involve construction of expressways connecting these multi-modal hubs.

    Recently, Gadkari told ET about the integrated logistics policy his ministry was working on. The railway ministry is also developing its own national railway plan under the transportation master plan to identify deficiencies in rail infrastructure across the country and suggest ways to overcome the same after considering the efficiency of existing and planned transport infrastructure.

    At a recent event, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that his government was not merely looking at roads and railways as independent modes but was focusing on development of the transportation sector in entirety.

    The Prime Minister said that the government has allocated Rs 3 lakh crore for the next financial year for the development of transportation and infrastructure sectors in the country. Jason Pierre-Paul Authentic Jersey

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