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All you wanted to know about Sagarmala

ABHISHEK CHANDRA
{Deputy Secretary, Ministry Of Shipping}

The Sagarmala program, introduced by the Government of India on July 31, 2015, aims to advance port-led improvement and provide infrastructure to transport merchandise to and from ports in a fast, proficient and cost-effective manner. In a recent interview with Indian infrastructure, Abhishek Chandra, deputy secretary, Ministry of Shipping (MoS), shares his perspectives on the development under the program, issues, challenges and the way forward…
Sagarmala is the flagship program of the MoS. The program plans to advance port-led development in the nation by tackling the 7,500 km long coastline, 20,000 km of potentially navigable waterways and the key area on key global maritime trade routes. The principle vision of the Sagarmala program is to lessen logistics costs for export- import and domestic trade with minimal infrastructure investment.”
Under the program, 542 tasks, at an expected investment of over Rs 8 trillion, have been distinguished for usage over the next 20 years. Of these, 452 ventures are focused to be taken up by 2019-20. Further, 289 ventures worth Rs 2.17 trillion are now under different phases of implementation and development.
Progress under the four components

Port modernisation and new port development
An aggregate of 241 projects, at an expected cost of Rs 1.39 trillion, have been distinguished under this part. To cater to the growing traffic a map has been set up for expanding limit at Indian ports to more than 3,500 million tons by 2025. As a part of the program, master plans have been settled for the 12 major ports. Based on these plans, 142 port capacity expansion ventures have been recognized for execution over the next 20 years. To fill the demand- supply gap, six areas have been distinguished for new ports.

For enhancing operational proficiency, an investigation to benchmark the execution of major Indian ports to comparable international ports was undertaken and the recommendations of the study are being executed.
The benchmarking study recognized total of 116 initiatives for implementation during 2016-18 to enhance the operational effectiveness and benefit of the major ports. Of the 116 initiatives, 86 have just been executed so far bringing about an additional capacity of around 80 mtpa at the ports. Further, a total of of 48 ventures (Rs 23.77 billion) have been taken up for financial help under the coastal berth scheme. Of these, 26 ventures worth Rs 12.07 billion have been endorsed and financial assistance amounting to Rs 2.66 billion has been released. The rest of the 22 ventures are under different phases of improvement and approval.
Port connectivity enhancement
Under the port connectivity enhancement component, a total of 208 connectivity ventures have been recognized for execution at an expected cost of Rs 2.5 trillion. Of these, 41 last-mile rail connectivity ventures (Rs 210.69 billion) are to be taken up by Indian Port Rail Corporation Limited, 34 rail network ventures (Rs 427.03 billion) by Indian Railways, and 97 road connectivity ventures (Rs 1,688.53 billion) by different organizations, such as the National Highways Authority of India, state public works departments, port experts and others. Of the 97 road connectivity ventures, 56 ventures are proposed to be taken up in convergence with the Bharatmala Pariyojana.
The port connectivity segment additionally incorporates the advancement of 16 multimodal logistics parks and six projects relating to inland waterways development (Rs 82.98 billion). Furthermore, three pipeline projects worth Rs 45 billion are additionally under different phases of implementation and development.
Port-linked industrialization
Overall, 49 projects involving an investment of Rs 4.49 trillion have been indentified for implementation. With a view to developing port-proximate industrial capacities near the coast, 14 coastal economic zones (CEZs) have been identified and perspective plans for all the CEZs have been developed. Other initiatives under this component include the development of a marine shipbuilding park in Gujarat, a maritime cluster in Tamil Nadu, a port-linked special economic zone at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), smart port industrial cities at Kandla and Paradip and industrial development at the V.O. Chidambaranar Port Trust and Kamarajar port.
Coastal community development
A total of 44 ventures worth Rs 56.81 billion have been proposed for development under this part. A coordinated approach is being received with an attention on skill building and training, technology upgradation, and the development of specific and time-bound activity plans for enhancing physical and social infrastructure in collaboration with the coastal states. In such manner, the skill gap study for 21 coastal areas has been finished and the domain ministries and concerned state governments have been requested to execute the district action plans.
The six greenfield ports are proposed to be developed at Vadhavan (Maharashtra), Enayam (Tamil Nadu), Tajpur (West Bengal), Paradip Outer Harbor (Odisha), Sirkazhi (Tamil Nadu) and Belekeri (Karnataka). The techno-ecoonomic feasibility report has been set up for five areas and is under planning for the new port at Tajpur.
The idea of the proposed CEZs is currently being seen as coastal f “employment” zones to advance exports and create job opportunities. A committee has been constituted under the ambit of NITI Aayog to look after the progress of such employment zones.
Further, the administration is investigating the option of giving budgetary help to those states which offer 25 square km of land and are willing to sign a state support agreement for the improvement of these employment zones. A “challange” procedure has been proposed to be taken after while granting the agreements for the employment zones.
Of the 14 CEZs identified under the port-linked industrialization component, DPR preparation has been taken up on a pilot basis for one CEZ each in Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat. This is the status of greenfield port projects and the 14 coastal economic zones that have been announced.
Sagarmala requires efficient coordination between the Centre and states for its successful implementation. As a piece of the institutional structure and to ensure coordination between the state and central governments, different committees, for example, the National Sagarmala Apex Committee, the Sagarmala Coordination and Steering Committee and state Sagarmala committee have been set up. These committees meet at regular intervals discuss various aspects related to the program. Besides these, stakeholder workshops are conducted regularly with the governments of maritime states and other stakeholders across the country.
Delays in land acquisition and obtaining environmental clearance are the key challenges in the timely implementation of some of the infrastructure projects proposed in the programme.

 

 

 

 

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