Sagarmala VPA has completed 7 years
- Series of events are being organised by Sagaramala VPA (Visakhapatnam Port Authority) to mark its seventh anniversary.
- To encourage the logistic sector of the country, the Ministry of Shipping launched the Sagarmala Programme in India in July 2015.
- Under this project, an investment of 8.5 trillion was made to set up mega ports and upgrade the existing ports of 14 Coastal Units and Zones.
- The Sagarmala project seeks to develop a string of ports around India’s coast.
- Objective: to promote “Port-led development” along India’s 7500 km long coastline.
- Aim: to develop access to new development regions with intermodal solutions and promotion of the optimum modal split, enhanced connectivity with main economic centres and beyond through expansion of rail, inland water, coastal and road services.
- Nodal Ministry: The Union Ministry of Shipping has been appointed as the nodal ministry for this initiative.
- To implement this, State governments would set up State Sagarmala committees, headed by the chief minister or the minister in charge of ports.
Need for such a project
Currently, 95% of India’s trade by value and 70 % by volume take place through maritime transport. India is lacking a high quantity of international trade via coastal lines due to the lack of infrastructure facilities and advanced coastal technologies.The cost of shipping/evacuating goods through Indian maritime transport is quite high compared to that of China, South Korea, Japan and other developed countries. This makes Indian goods uncompetitive in the international market.China, South Korea and Japan have effectively used their coastline for ‘port-led development’. India has to replicate their model to stay competitive. So, a plan has to be devised to reduce logistics costs and strengthen India’s EXIM industry. Sagarmala Project is one such plan
Objectives of the project
- Augmenting operational efficiency of ports (more terminals for loading and unloading cargo)
- Optimizing logistics (rails, roads and inland waterways).
- Identify capacity additions (more ports wherever viable).
- Modernize India’s Ports so that port-led development can be augmented.
Sagarmala: other Features
- To fulfil the objective, Sagarmala Development Company Limited was formed in 2016 which will provide equity support to the project.
- Indian Port Rail Corporation has been established to execute the last mile rail connectivity with the ports.
- The Centre of Excellence in Maritime and Ship Building is also being set up.
- The Centre for Inland and Coastal Maritime Technology is also being set up at IIT Kharagpur to reduce India’s dependence on foreign countries for tools and technology.
- Sagarmala Seaplane Services (SSPS)
- Year: 2021
- Implemented by the Sagarmala Development Company Limited.
- The project is being initiated under a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) framework through prospective airline operators.
- Aim: Facilitation of faster and hassle-free travel across the country.
- The total outlay of this project is 4 crore with 150 initiatives in five broad areas.
|Port Modernization and New Port Development
|Capacity expansion of existing ports. Development of New Greenfield Ports. Debottlenecking of existing ports.
|Port Connectivity Enhancement
|Enhancing the link between ports and inland. Cost and time optimization through multi-modal logistics solutions. Development of Domestic Waterways.
|Developing industries in close proximity to ports. Creating Coastal Economic Zones with ports and industries closely spaced. Reducing the cost of logistics and time for Domestic and EXIM Cargo Operations.
|Coastal Community Development
|Focusing on improving the lifestyle of people and providing people with proper training and skills. The fire-safety training projects for workers are also funded by the project. For Coastal Community Development value additions are also done in fisheries and cold chain development.
|Coastal Shipping and Inland waterways Transport
|The motto was to move the cargo in a friendly manner that will also not be harmful to the environment and also through Inland waterways. This component is to promote sustainability and a friendly environment along with industrialization.
- It will improve the condition of the population living in the coastal areas.
- It will strengthen India’s position in the Global Supply Chain.
- It will improve the business and economy of India.
- It will generate more employment opportunities and entrepreneurship ventures.
- Efficient Evacuation to and from the hinterland.
Why is it important?
India is located along key international trade routes in the Indian Ocean and has a long coastline of over 7,500 km. Yet, capacity constraints and lack of modern facilities at Indian ports tremendously elongate the time taken to ship goods in and out of the country and have held back India’s share in world trade. Developing rivers as inland waterways can also help save domestic logistics costs too. Sagarmala could boost India’s merchandise exports to $110 billion by 2025 and create an estimated 10 million new jobs.
Prelims take away
- Sagarmala project
- Sagarmala Seaplane Services (SSPS)
Q. Explain the importance of the Sagarmala Project to the Indian Economy. What are the Objectives of the project?