Sagarmala Project to be Completed in 5 Years
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.