VISAKHAPATNAM : Minister for Industries Mekapati Goutham Reddy said that the Andhra Pradesh (AP) government has accorded top priority to strengthening the logistics network by investing heavily in road infrastructure, new and renewable energy, Fibernet connectivity and development of industrial nodes and connecting them with high-quality external infrastructure in order to improve competitiveness and reduce costs.
Participating in a virtual south zonal conference on the Prime Minister’s Gati Shakti National Masterplan organised by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Mr. Goutham Reddy said that the government was working towards integrated logistics-based infrastructure development. It was aimed at achieving port-led industrialisation with ultra-modern multi-purpose ports and developing road and rail-based economic corridors having large industrial hubs, fishing harbours, and processing zones.
The government was ensuring that airports had road, rail and possible sea connectivity to maximise their potential of becoming multi-modal cargo hubs.
Besides, the government was expanding natural gas distribution through the AP Gas Distribution Corporation (APGDC). The Kakinada-Srikakulam pipeline project gas corridor was being implemented in two phases: Kakinada-Visakhapatnam (169 km) and Visakhapatnam–Srikakulam (102 km).
The Roads and Buildings Department undertook double-laning of all roads connecting mandal headquarters to district headquarters at a cost of ₹6,400 crore with financial assistance from the New Development Bank.
The Minister further said that the A.P. government was investing around ₹18,000 crore in developing Ramayapatnam, Bhavanapadu and Machilipatnam, and that it pioneered Fibernet connectivity up to the Gram Panchayats by creating AP Fibernet Corporation. Similarly, the government was developing nodes in Visakhapatnam-Chennai, Chennai-Bengaluru and Hyderabad-Bengaluru industrial corridors.
Referring to the Gati Shakti masterplan, Mr. Goutham Reddy said that the initiative would go a long way towards making India an attractive destination for overseas investors apart from creating job opportunities and incentivising export avenues.
In this regard, he stated that the AP government was keen on working in tandem with all 16 infrastructure ministries at the Centre to synergise plans for improving the ranking in the logistics performance Index in the future.