What is sagarmala project?
The prime objective of the Sagarmala project is to promote port-led direct and indirect development and to provide infrastructure to transport goods to and from ports quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively. Therefore, the Sagarmala Project shall, inter alia, 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.
- Supporting and enabling Port-led Development through appropriate policy and institutional interventions and providing for an institutional framework for ensuring inter-agency and ministries/departments/states’ collaboration for integrated development,
- Port Infrastructure Enhancement, including modernization and setting up of new ports, and
- Efficient Evacuation to and from hinterland.
The Sagarmala Project therefore intends to achieve the broad objectives of enhancing the capacity of major and non-major ports and modernizing them to make them efficient, thereby enabling them to become drivers of port-led economic development, optimizing the use of existing and future transport assets and developing new lines/linkages for transport (including roads, rail, inland waterways and coastal routes), setting up of logistics hubs, and establishment of industries and manufacturing centres to be served by ports in EXIM and domestic trade.
Presently, Indian ports handle more than 90 percent of India’s total EXIM trade volume. However, the current proportion of merchandize trade in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of India is only 42 percent, whereas for some developed countries and regions in the world such as Germany and European Union, it is 75 percent and 70 percent respectively. Therefore, there is a great scope to increase the share of merchandising trade in India’s GDP. With the Union Government’s “Make in India” initiative, the share of merchandise trade in India’s GDP is expected to increase and approach levels achieved in developed countries. India lags far behind in ports and logistics infrastructure. Against a share of 9 percent of railways and 6 percent of roads in the GDP the share of ports is only 1 percent. In addition, high logistics costs make Indian exports uncompetitive. Therefore, Sagarmala project has been envisioned to provide ports and the shipping the rightful place in the Indian economy and to enable port-led development.
An illustrative list of the kind of development projects that could be undertaken in Sagarmala initiative are
- Port-led industrialization
- Port based urbanization
- Port based and coastal tourism and recreational activities
- Short-sea shipping coastal shipping and Inland Waterways Transportation
- Ship building, ship repair and ship recycling
- Logistics parks, warehousing, maritime zones/services
- Integration with hinterland hubs
- Offshore storage, drilling platforms
- Specialization of ports in certain economic activities such as energy, containers, chemicals, coal, agro products, etc.
- Offshore Renewable Energy Projects with base ports for installations
Modernizing the existing ports and development of new ports. This strategy incorporates both aspects of port-led development viz. port-led direct development and port-led indirect development.