Sa­gar­mala Project to be Com­pleted in 5 Years

The Economic Times - - Economy - Our Bureau & Agen­cies

Mum­bai: The govern­ment will halve the pre­vi­ously es­ti­mated 10-year time­frame to com­plete the Sa­gar­mala port de­vel­op­ment project, Union Min­is­ter Nitin Gad­kari said.

The min­is­ter for ship­ping, road trans­port and high­ways also spoke about an agree­ment with the de­fence min­istry that could po­ten­tially lead to or­ders worth .₹ 50,000 crore for In­dian ship­yards, in­clud­ing pri­vate ones.

The Sa­gar­mala project is es­ti­mated to cre­ate 10-mil­lion jobs, he said at the Mar­itime In­dia Sum­mit here. De­vel­op­ing In­dia's 7,500km coast­line will boost mer­chan­dise ex­ports by $110 mil­lion and in­crease coastal ship­ping vol­umes by as much as five times of the cur­rent lev­els to about 330-420 mil­lion tonne per an­num, he said. It could mo­bilise in­vest­ment of about .₹ 4 lakh crore in In­dia's in­fras­truc­ture sec­tor over the next 10 years. The Na­tional Per­spec­tive Pro­gramme for Sa­gar­mala was launched here by Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi on Thurs­day.

"The pro­gramme could lead to an­nual lo­gis­tics cost sav­ings of close to .₹ 35,000 crore, and of the 10-mil­lion new jobs that will be cre­ated, 40 lakh will be di­rect em­ploy­ment," Gad­kari said.

This plan is based on four strate­gic levers — op­ti­mis­ing multi-modal trans­port to re­duce cost of do­mes­tic cargo, min­imis­ing time and cost of ex­port-im­port cargo lo­gis­tics, low­er­ing costs for bulk in­dus­tries by lo­cat­ing them closer to the coast, and im­prov­ing ex­port com­pet­i­tive­ness by lo­cat­ing dis­crete man­u­fac­tur­ing clus­ters near ports.

The Sa­gar­mala project is an amal­ga­ma­tion of 150 projects cat­e­gorised into port mod­erni­sa­tion, con­nec­tiv­ity, port-led in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion and coastal com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ment, with the govern­ment plan­ning to in­vest .₹ 12 lakh crore un­der var­i­ous pro­grammes.

Un­der the port mod­erni­sa­tion drive, 53 projects are ex­pected to be un­der­taken to en­sure the port han­dling ca­pac­ity is in­creased by 1,000 mil­lion tonne per an­num. This in­cludes six new mega port projects.

"The projects un­der this sub-cat­e­gory are ex­pected to come at an in­vest­ment of $15 bil­lion," the min­is­ter said.

In the con­nec­tiv­ity cat­e­gory, $30-bil­lion in­vest­ment is pro­jected for 10,000 km of new con­nec­tiv­ity in­fras­truc­ture projects as well as seven new dry ports. Un­der port-led in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion, 27 in­dus­trial clus­ters will be de­vel­oped by in­vest­ing $15 bil­lion.

Gad­kari spoke of eight new ports in­clud­ing ones at Sa­gar, West Ben­gal; Paradip Outer Har­bour in Odisha; Enayam in Tamil Nadu and Vad­ha­van in Ma­ha­rash­tra.

"In ad­di­tion, po­ten­tial has been iden­ti­fied for new ports to come up in cen­tral Andhra Pradesh, south east­ern Tamil Nadu and pos­si­bly north­ern Kar­nataka," he said.

Gad­kari also spoke about 12 pro­posed in­dus­trial clus­ters which would en­tail an in­vest­ment of .₹ 85,000-90,000 crore in land and an ad­di­tional .₹ 12,000-15,000 crore in ba­sic in­fras­truc­ture. He said this would lead to ad­di­tion in GDP of .₹ 3 lakh crore. Gad­kari spoke of 14 coastal eco­nomic zones in Gu­jarat, Ma­ha­rash­tra, Kar­nataka, Ker­ala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and West Ben­gal.

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