Sagarmala Project

The key objective of Sagarmala project develop port infrastructure in India that results in quick, efficient and cost-effective transport to and from ports. It also includes establishment of rail / road linkages with the port terminals, thus providing last mile connectivity to ports; development of linkages with new regions, enhanced multi-modal connectivity including rail, inland water, coastal and road services.

Historical Background

In August 2003, the NDA Government under Atal Bihari Vajpayee had announced a Sagarmala project, which targeted a total investment of Rs.1 Lakh crore for direct and indirect development of the port sector. The Sagarmala project was expected to infuse new life into the neglected sectors of the maritime industry the inland waterways, coastal shipping and ship-building and repairs.

However in 2004, NDA government was ousted from power. The UPA-I renamed this project as National Maritime Development Programme in 2005. At that time, the cargo handling capacity of India was around 300 Million MTs and government sought to achieve 800.41 Mt by 2011-12.  But like many other projects, this was also marred with tardy implementation.  So far in March 2015, the cargo handling capacity stands at 871 Million Metric tonnes. In 2010, the UPA-II government launched Maritime Agenda 2010-20 with an objective to create a port capacity of around 3200 MT to handle the expected traffic of about 2500 MT by 2020. This included various components such as capacity augmentation, port modernization, efficient management of shore  infrastructure, efficient maintenance of the ports, rail / road connectivity, efficiency improvement of flotilla units and optimum utilization of the port assets.

The NDA Government has again revitalized the same project with its own name Sagarmala project after coming back to power in 2014.

Three Pillars of Sagarmala Project

The current version of Sagarmala initiative focuses on three pillars of development as follows:

  • Supporting and enabling Port-led Development
  • Port Infrastructure Enhancement, including modernization and setting up of new ports
  • Efficient Evacuation to and from hinterland.

The administrative framework

National Sagarmala Apex Committee

At apex level, a National Sagarmala Apex Committee (NSAC) will be created to provide overall policy guidance. It will be headed by shipping minister.

Sagarmala Development Company (SDC)

In September 2016, Indian Government has incorporated the Sagarmala Development Company (SDC) under Companies Act, 2013. It would be having initial Authorised Share Capital of Rs. 1,000 Crore and a Subscribed Share Capital of Rs. 90 Crore. {Click here to understand meaning and types of share capital}

This company will serve as a special purpose vehicle {SPV) in project development and also as a nodal agency for coordination and monitoring of sagarmala project. Other functions include:

  • Preparation of detailed master plans for the Coastal Economic Zones (CEZs) identified as part of the NPP and provide a framework for ensuring the integrated development of Indian maritime sector.
  • To manage the coastal community development scheme and fund coastal community development projects identified under the Sagarmala Project.

The company will also be raising funds as debt/equity (as long term capital), as per the project requirements/ by leveraging resources provided by the Government of India and from multi-lateral and bilateral funding agencies. SDC will also aim to increase the scope of private sector participation in project development.

Sagarmala Coordination and Steering Committee

At national level, the government will constitute a Sagarmala Coordination and Steering Committee (SCSC) under Cabinet Secretary with Secretaries of the Ministries of Shipping, Road Transport and Highways, Tourism, Defence, Home Affairs, Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Departments of Revenue, Expenditure, Industrial Policy and Promotion, Chairman, Railway Board and CEO, NITI Aayog as members. This committee would provide coordination between various ministries, state governments and agencies connected with implementation and review the progress of implementation of the National Perspective Plan, Detailed Master Plans and individual projects.

National Perspective Plan

The Union Government would prepare a National Perspective Plan (NPP) for the entire coast of India integrating the Industrial Corridors, Dedicated Freight Corridors, National Highway Development Programme, Industrial Clusters and so on. It will also identify the potential geographic regions called Coastal Economic Zones (CEZs). The coastal states have been suggested to set up State Sagarmala Committee to be headed by Chief Minister/Minister in Charge of Ports with members from relevant Departments and agencies.

Key Activities
  • Port-led industrialization
  • Port based urbanization
  • Port based and coastal tourism and recreational activities
  • Short-sea shipping coastal shipping and Inland Waterways Transportation
  • Ship building, ship repair and ship recycling
  • Logistics parks, warehousing, maritime zones/services
  • Integration with hinterland hubs
  • Offshore storage, drilling platforms
  • Specialization of ports in certain economic activities such as energy, containers, chemicals, coal, agro products, etc.
  • Offshore Renewable Energy Projects with base ports for installations
  • Modernizing the existing ports and development of new ports.

This strategy incorporates both aspects of port-led development viz. port-led direct development and port-led indirect development.

Summary of Sagarmala Project

Sagarmala project aims at holistic port infrastructure development along the 7,500-km-long coastline through modernisation, mechanisation and computerisation. Under this port-led development framework government hopes to increase its cargo traffic three-fold in next 5 years.  It will benefit around 14 per cent of country’s overall population from at least 13 States and Union Territories. If inland waterways programme is included in it will benefit at least 55 per cent of all population.  Two ports Kandla (Gujarat) and Paradip (Odisha) are being developed into Green Smart Cities and the Government is eyeing at 4,500 rupees profit from ports this fiscal. At Navi Mumbai Special Economic Zone, government is investing 4,000 crore rupees which will provide employment to 1.5 lakh youth.

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