India has 7,500-km long coastline and 14,500 km of potentially navigable waterways. The Government of India is thus undertaking the ambitious Sagarmala Programme to promote port-led development. The concept of Sagarmala was approved by Union Cabinet in March 2015. Kailash Agarwaal, Joint Secretary of Sagarmala Project speaks to Sushant Ranjan over the phone. He says the Sagarmala Project will reduce logistics cost from 14-16 per cent to 9-10 per cent.
What is the National Perspective Plane and how will it affect industries?
The National Perspective Plan was crafted after detailed consultations with key stakeholders in the Central and state governments, public sector companies as well as private players from shipping, ports, ship-building, power, cement and steel sectors. It takes forward Sagarmala’s vision of substantially reducing export-import and domestic trade costs with minimal investment. Promoting water transportation is priority of the government as it will considerably reduce the logistics cost which is very high in India as compared to China and European nations. Sagarmala project’s estimated cost is over Rs 8.5 lakh crore. It involves 562 projects which would be taken up in the country between 2015 and 2035.
Can you explain about the current status of this ongoing Sagarmala Project?
There are about 200 projects costing around Rs. 2.5 lakh crore that has been identified under Sagarmala programme for enhancing connectivity to Indian ports. This includes 112 road projects, 70 rail projects, 11 inland waterways projects, 3 pipeline projects and 15 multimodal logistics parks. These projects are being implemented by various agencies such as National Highways Authority of India, Indian Railways, Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, Inland Waterways Authority of India, Major Ports and CONCOR.
Why this project is important and how many projects have been completed till now?
Sagarmala aims to deliver impact through over 150 projects and initiatives in four broad areas. To modernise India’s port infrastructure, 5 to 6 new ports have been proposed. The second focus area is port connectivity, where over 80 projects are being planned. The third set of projects aims to tap into the potential of port-led industrialisation to boost industrial and export growth along the coastline. Finally, the potential of coastal communities will be harnessed by focused skill-development to support port-led industrialization. The set of initiatives under this head also includes developing opportunities for fishermen and other coastal communities as well as development of the numerous islands along India’s coastline. Till now 80 projects have been completed with cost of Rs 14,000 crore and 213 under implementation which cost Rs 2.5 lakh crore.
In which parts of Maharashtra has it been implemented?
In Maharashtra, four multi-modal logistics parks are currently carried out by JNPT in Jalna, Wardha, Sangli and Nashik. Apart from this, important places like Jaisalmer in Rajasthan and places like Pune, Satara, Mumbai/ Navi Mumbai, Thane, Palghar, Raigad, Ratnagiri at Maharashtra are being connected through road and rail with ports.
What is the current status of Jalna, Wardha, Sangli and Nashik projects?
The projects in Jalna and Wardha are in progress and which will be completed by December 2019. The project at Jalna will cost Rs 600 crore while Wardha will cost Rs 480 crore. The Nashik and Sangli’s Detailed Project Report (DPR) are under preparation. The estimated cost for Nashik and Sangli will be Rs 500 crore.