Govt unveils Sagarmala National Perspective Plan

The Government of India has released the Sagarmala National Perspective Plan to promote port-led development in the country. Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, unveiled the program at the inauguration of the Maritime India Summit in Mumbai.

The National Perspective Plan has been 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 strengthens Sagarmala’s vision of substantially reducing export-import and domestic trade costs with a minimal investment.

Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister of Shipping, Road Transport and Highways, said that the Government is promoting water transportation as it will considerably reduce the logistics cost which is very high in India compared to China and European nations. Estimated cost of the program could lead to annual logistics cost savings of around Rs 35,000 crore and boost India’s merchandise exports to $110 billion by 2025. It will also create about one crore new jobs, of which 40 lakhs will be direct employment.

Sagarmala National Perspective Plan consists four strategic levers:
1. Optimizing multi-modal transport to reduce the cost of domestic cargo.
2. Minimizing the time and cost of export-import cargo logistics.
3. Lowering costs for bulk industries by locating them closer to the coast.
4. Improving export competitiveness by locating discrete manufacturing clusters near ports.

Sagarmala National Perspective Plan identifies specific opportunities for transportation of commodities such as thermal coal, fertilisers, food-grains, cement and steel by coastal shipping and inland waterways. Sagarmala includes around 150 projects and initiatives in four broad areas. To modernize India’s port infrastructure, five to six new ports have been proposed to be built. Additionally over 40 port-capacity enhancement projects will be taken up.

The second focus area is port connectivity, where over 80 projects are being planned. These include connectivity infrastructure projects like a heavy-haul rail corridor to evacuate large volumes of coal in Odisha, freight-friendly expressways to enable efficient movement of containers on key routes, and the development of strategic inland waterways.

The third set of projects aims to tap into the potential of port-led industrialization to boost industrial and export growth along the coastline. This will be realized through 14 Coastal Economic Zones (CEZs) along the coastline, each of which will house a number of industrial clusters. The clusters will have industries fromthe energy, bulk materials as well as discrete manufacturing segments, all of which will be able to use high-quality infrastructure which is fully-integrated with the corresponding ports.
Extra info:
1. Union Minister of Shipping, Road Transport and Highways – Nitin Gadkari
2. India has a coastline of about 7,500kms which covers 13 states and Union Territories.
3. Coastal Economic Zones (CEZs)

So lets do:
1. Who is the Union Minister of Shipping, Road Transport and Highways?
2. India has a coastline of about _______ which covers ________ and Union Territories.
3. Expand the CEZ?
4. Centre has released the ______________ to promote port-led development in the country.

Source – The Hindu


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