Sagarmala Project

Sagarmala Project | Background

  • 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.

Sagarmala Project | Proposed Ports

West Bengal Sagar Island
Tamil Nadu Colachel
Gujarat Wadhwan
Karnataka Tadadi
Andhra Pradesh Machilipatnam

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