India is bound by sea on three sides with 7th largest coastline in world.
Whereas railways contribute 9% to GDP, road sector contributes 6%, ports’ share of GDP is only 1%! This contradiction reflects vast potential for development of coastal cities and ports.
India suffers from poor port linkages, under performance of existing port infrastructure and lack of developed infrastructure near ports, for value addition of inbound or outbound merchandise.
Along with this, an inefficient inter-modal transport connectivity results in high cost of logistics and exports.
Government has therefore prioritized development of coastal cities, along with existing and new port development, as growth drivers.
Sagarmala Project | Shortcomings
Unfortunately, India has not focused on developing coastal and port infrastructure in an integrated manner that would have realized its full potential.
Today, most ports lack adequate cargo handling infrastructure.
Ship turnaround time is poor compared to most other developed international ports.
Loading-unloading processes are cumbersome.
Rail and road connectivity to hinterland is inadequate.
Industrial centers near port locations that can offer value addition are also lacking.
Sagarmala Project | Three Pillars
Modernizing port infrastructure.
Developing integrated transport infrastructure for connecting coast to hinterland.
Current Infrastructure Scenario
Sagarmala Project | Integrated Development
12 smart cities to be developed near ports as integrated townships with affordable housing and green initiatives for sustainable living.
1,208 islands identified for development along with 189 light houses to boost both domestic and international tourism significantly.
Coastal Economic Zones (CEZs), with modern support infrastructure and adequate fiscal incentives, to be established to give boost to economic activity near coastal locations. For instance, Kandla Port in Gujarat.
Redevelopment of existing port infrastructure through upgrade in port handling equipment and extensive use of IT in improving monitoring and operations of port activity. For instance, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust.
To identify suitable port locations with deep drafts to enhance shipping and port handling capacity.
Specialised ports with focus on handling coal, energy, chemicals, commodities, etc., to be developed.
Development and linking of short-sea shipping, coastal shipping and inland waterways transportation to get due attention.
Further development of ship building, ship repair and ship recycling industry to also be a priority.
Enhanced development of offshore drilling and storage platforms is another objective.
Developing logistics parks and warehousing near coastal locations to support port activity.
With long coastline, India offers great potential for developing offshore renewable energy and government has accorded due priority to attract investment in this area – power so generated will feed coastal activity and also contribute to national grid.
Sagarmala Project | National Perspective Plan
To identify suitable geographical locations along coast to develop as CEZs.
To synergise and integrate CEZs with various existing development initiatives like National Highways Development, Inland Waterways, Smart Cities, SEZs, Industrial Corridors and Dedicated Freight Corridors.
Sagarmala Project | Institutional Structure
Apex level:Sagarmala Coordination and Steering Committee (SCSC) under chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary with Secretaries from Ministry of Shipping, Road Transport and Highways, Industrial Policy and Promotion, Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Revenue, Expenditure, Defence, Home Affairs, Chairman Railway Board and CEO of NITI Aayog.
SCSC to ensure fund availability and oversee smooth coordination among various arms of central government and state governments and agencies.
Federal structure:States to play a major role in implementing and facilitating development in their respective areas – State Sagarmala Committee (SSC) headed by Chief Minister or Minister in charge of Ports.
To facilitate investments in CEZs and port development activities, government is open to set Special Purposes Vehicles (SPVs).
Central government proposes to establish Sagarmala Development Company (SDC), under Companies Act 1956 to extend equity support to SPVs operating in various states.
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