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Sagarmala project pipeline doubles to 1,537, cost rises to Rs 6.5 trillion

The ports ministry is currently working on a national perspective plan for development of 11 coastal economic zones (CEZ) across the country

Topics
Sagarmala | Sagarmala Project | Ports

Dhruvaksh Saha  |  New Delhi 

Sagarmala
Sagarmala project.

The Centre's plan for port-led development on Friday saw an addition of 735 projects, taking the total pipeline to 1537 projects at a cost of Rs 6.5 trillion, minister of ports, shipping, and waterways Sarbananda Sonowal said.

After the meeting of the National Apex Committee (NSAC), the core panel overseeing the maritime project, the minister announced that the government will undertake projects worth Rs 58,700 crore for development of coastal districts across the country.

"While is port-led and focuses on reduction in the cost of logistics and EXIM (export-import) competitiveness, holistic development of coastal districts aims to bridge gaps in infrastructure and create economic opportunities," the minister said.

The government is also adding 168 other projects for development, with a cost estimate to the tune of Rs 50,000 crore, with the ministry's focus on pubic private partnership (PPP) projects. A total of 29 projects worth Rs. 45,000 Crore have been successfully implemented under PPP model, and additional 32 PPP projects worth Rs 51,000 Crore are currently being implemented, Sonowal said. The net additional cost of the maritime plan is Rs 1 trillion now.

Business Standard had reported on Wednesday that the government is likely to almost double the projects in the 2035 Sagarmala pipeline at the apex panel meeting.

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The apex committee, which was formed in 2015, met with former minister and now Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari, Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal, Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, and Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia in attendance, among various state government leaders.

The ministry has so far completed projects worth Rs 99,000 crore, with projects worth Rs 2 trillion in the pipeline for completion by FY24. Many of the added projects will be developed by subsuming existing projects of state governments within the Sagarmala pipeline. Official sources indicated that this is being done to integrate port development efforts, as these projects will now be supported financially by the Centre, and their execution will be given an impetus through the PM Gati-Shakti National Master Plan.

Sonowal also announced that the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) has identified for five new areas for the development of passenger services using feasible waterways - Varanasi, Kolkata, Patna, Gauhati, Dibrugarh.

Moreover, with most avenues of domestic freight transportation congested, the ministry estimates that a potential freight of 340 million tonne (mt) can be achieved through coastal by FY25, leading to cost savings of Rs 9600 crore.

Congested networks are a major factor in the high cost of logistics in India. Union minister Nitin Gadkari, while addressing the meeting, said that new initiatives aimed at decongestion and a move towards methanol-based shipping fuel can lead to significant savings in these costs.

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First Published: Fri, May 06 2022. 16:53 IST
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