A proposal is being prepared with a plan to set up an Integrated Transport Planning Agency (ITPA) to drive the overall transport strategy across all modes of surface transport, railways, shipping and civil aviation at the national level.
The proposal, which has been prepared by a special group of secretaries, would be akin to the Department of Transport of the United States and Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communication of Australia, sources said.
They added that the need for ITPA has been felt considering that some of the globally leading federal economies have transport infrastructure under a single body for coordinated planning and this plays a crucial role in bringing down the logistics cost.
In India, since transport planning is still not an integrated one, different modes of transport end up competing with each other rather than being complementary.
Though the roll out of GatiShakti platform for integrated planning is getting traction, currently it’s more confined to the central government projects.
It is being learnt that a few rounds of discussion has been held among top officials of Niti Aayog and road transport, railways, civil aviation, shipping, commerce and urban affairs ministries to finalise the modalities.
Sources said the proposal for the integrated agency is likely to be placed before the government soon.
As per the proposal, the ITPA will be the only agency for transport strategy development and monitoring with a long-term planning period of around 15 years.
The agency will also be accountable for meeting the national goals such as net zero emission and it will establish liasioning mechanisms with ministries and departments involved in the execution of infrastructure projects.
Sources said it will also ensure better centre-state coordination on key infrastructure projects.
Officials said the proposal is crucial considering that India’s infrastructure needs are growing and the government is pumping in huge funds for creating new projects and also upgrading the existing ones.
“The integrated transport planning will help channelise the government investment,” said an official.
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