Sagarmala – Port Development Project

India is having a 7,500 km long coastline & 14,500 km of navigable waterways. India is currently having 12 major ports and around 200 non-major ports which all are administered by Central and State Governments respectively; these ports are responsible for 90% of India’s trade by volume. Over 1 billion tonnes of freight was managed by Indian ports in FY 2015-16. Predicted cargo volume by the year 2025 is expected to be more than 2.5 billion tonnes – this significant increase in cargo volume calls for a considerable capacity increase of the existing ports and simultaneously building of new ports in the coming 10 years. Providing speedier and superior connectivity is the code to cargo management and to achieve this, efficient mode of clearing of both Export & Import cargo is needed. Further, by developing port proximate industrial hubs, cost of transportation & logistics can be reduced, in current times Indian logistics cost is around 15% of GDP.

There are numerous challenges in the way of port development project which needs to be handled, and at the same time, substantial opportunities are also arising which needs to be captured. And to do all this Sagarmala Program comes into the picture. By the help of this initiative, the Ministry of Shipping intends to utilize India’s 7,500 Km coastline and 14,500 Km of waterways to boost industrial growth in coastal regions.

Under the Sagarmal Initiative, 415 projects have been identified across India for port development, port modernization and coastal community development. These projects are to be executed in phases, with an estimated project cost of around USD 123 Billion.

The program envisages the following:

1. Port modernization and new port development Project

The Government is planning to develop 6 new ports across 5 coastal states of India. 189 projects have been identified. And presently, 42 projects are under implementation. The Ministry Of Shipping is also putting great efforts for improving transshipment capacity by developing new trans shipment ports. Vizhinjam of Kerala & Enayam of Tamil Nadu have been selected for development because of their geographical closeness to international shipping routes.

2. Port connectivity enhancement

170 port connectivity enhancement projects have been recognized under Sagarmala project. Also, the new National Waterways Act, 2016 intends to promote the use of 111 inland waterways across 24 states as a sustainable mode of transportation.

3. Port-linked industrialization

There are 33 port-linked industrialization projects under the Sagarmala Project. Further, Coastal Economic Zones (CEZs) have been introduced as economic regions hosting industrial clusters. CEZs are introduced to reduce time and costs required for Export and Import movement, thus becoming a central point of Port- linked industrialization. Because of CEZs logistical costs for 12 industries is going to be reduced because of their dependence on ocean mode of transportation. These industries include energy, material and discrete manufacturing.

4. Coastal community development

India is having 72 coastal districts which are the home of around 18% population of India, the development of these districts becomes mandatory for the overall development of the country. Under the Sagarmala program, the idea is to include this population for a overall progress of the region. 23 projects have been chosen so far which will be funded by Ministry Of Shipping and Department of Animal Husbandry Dairying & Fisheries (DADF).

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