SagarMala – Connecting the Indian Coastline for Economic Benefits
Under the Ministry of Shipping, the SagarMala project aims to improve the Indian logistic sector. The primary aim of this project is to promote port-led direct and indirect development and provide infrastructure for the affordable transportation of goods between ports more efficiently.
The project aims to overcome the three major issues faced by the Indian ports sector. These include
Lack of Connectivity – Currently, the Indian ports are not efficiently connected, which increases the delivery time for the cargo. Additionally, it causes congestion, further increasing the delays. Railways and roads are viable alternatives but increase the logistics expenses and commodities prices.
Infrastructural Limitations – Although the overall capability has improved, Indian ports are still a long way from meeting international standards
Turnaround Time – The average TAT at Indian ports is over two days. In comparison, the average international TAT is between a day and one and half days, which means the gap between global and domestic TAT is almost 24 hours.
Vision and Mission
The goal is to modify the Indian logistics sector by unlocking the potential of the country’s coastline and waterways. SagarMala aims to reduce logistics costs for domestic and EXIM cargo by improving the country’s infrastructure. The lower costs are expected to result in annual savings between INR 35000 and INR 40000 crores.
“Port-related development” is the core focus of this initiative focusing on intensive industries where timely logistics is critical or transportation is a high contribution to the total costs. By developing such industries close to the coastline supported with efficient and modern infrastructure and seamless connectivity, they can become globally competitive.
Four Pillars of SagarMala Project
The focus of SagarMala Pariyojana is port-led development to enhance efficiency and reduce logistics costs. The four pillars of this project are:
Components and Objectives
- Reducing congestion and capacity expansion of existing ports via modernization and development of greenfield ports
- Improving the connectivity of ports and the hinterland through multi-modal solutions like inland water transport and coastal shipping, thereby making cargo transportation affordable and less time-consuming
- Developing industrial clusters and Coastal Economic Zones (CEZs) close to the ports to decrease costs and TAT for domestic and EXIM cargo
- Sustainable development of coastal communities via skill development and providing employment opportunities like coastal tourism, fisheries, and others
CEZs have been proposed in Kutch, Saurashtra, Suryapur, North Konkan, South Konkan, Dakshin Kanara, Malabar, Mannar, Poompuhar, South, Central, & North VCIC, Kalinga, and Gaud.
Projects under SagarMala
Over 574 projects at an expected cost exceeding INR 6 lakh crores were identified during the period 2015 – 2035. These projects are spread across different areas, which include port modernization, new port development, connectivity improvements, coastal community development, and industrialization.
These are categorized as projects related to modernization, connectivity, port-led industrialization, and coastal community development.
Other Developments under SagarMala
Almost 18% of the Indian population resides in 72 districts in close proximity to the coastline. Coastal developments by the Government of India include various activities, such as fisheries, maritime tourism, and skill development for the local population. Additionally, cruise tourism will provide employment opportunities and further growth.
The Central Ministers and State Governments will accumulate funds and utilize these for developing infrastructure facilities, fisheries, cold chains, aquaculture, and other similar projects.
The Ministry of Tourism will promote maritime tourism by developing infrastructure, constructing new lighthouses to guide the ships, creating multiple National Maritime Heritage Museums, promoting cruise tourism, and building underwater restaurants and galleries at Beyt Dwarka.
Under the SagarMala Scheme, an integrated approach for improving the quality of life for people living near the coastal regions is proposed. The primary characteristics of the coastal community development plan are skill development for the local populace, research and development of marine and port sectors, development of fishing harbours, and promotion of cruise tourism.
Importance of SagarMala Project for India
- Enhance trades, logistics, and port development
- Saving domestic logistics and transportation costs
- Inter-connectivity between railways, roads, and waterways resulting in lower prices for commodities
- Increase Indian GDP
- Assist over one million people by creating employment opportunities for residents living close to the coastline and ports
All the proposed development under this Pariyojana will be completed by 2035 and can significantly increase the country’s GDP. The various projects under the scheme are progressing as per the plan, and it is expected that the Government will achieve its targets within the proposed timelines.
All schematics in this article courtesy sagarmala.gov.in