The concept of “port led development” is central to the Sagarmala vision.” What is Sagarmala initiative and how can it help in achieving the aim of port led development.

Approach:

• Introduce with India’s potential for port-led development

• Explain Sagarmala initiative with its components

• Explain how it will help in port led development

• Conclude appropriately

Model Answer :

India is richly endowed with natural maritime advantages, a strategic location for key international trade routes, and navigable and potentially navigable waterways. There is great potential for port-led development in India, but to realize it Indian ports must address infrastructural and operational challenges.

Sagarmala initiative:

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. The Sagarmala Project seeks to reduce logistics costs by developing access to new development regions with intermodal solutions, enhanced connectivity with main economic centres and beyond through expansion of rail, inland water, coastal and road services. As part of the programme, a National Perspective Plan (NPP) for the comprehensive development of India’s coastline and maritime sector has been prepared.

Components of Sagarmala Programme:

1.Port Modernization & New Port Development: De-bottlenecking and capacity expansion of existing ports and development of new Greenfield ports

2.Port Connectivity Enhancement: Enhancing the connectivity of the ports to the hinterland, optimizing cost and time of cargo movement through multi-modal logistics solutions including domestic waterways (inland water transport and coastal shipping)

3.Port-linked Industrialization: Developing port-proximate industrial clusters and Coastal Economic Zones to reduce logistics cost and time of EXIM and domestic cargo

4.Coastal Community Development: Promoting sustainable development of coastal communities through skill development & livelihood generation activities, fisheries development, coastal tourism etc.

How Sagarmala initiative can help in achieving the aim of port lead development?

The concept of “port led development” is central to the Sagarmala vision. Port led development focuses on logistics intensive industries, where transportation either represents a high proportion of costs, or timely logistics are a critical success factor.  The population in adjoining areas would have to be sufficiently skilled to participate in economic opportunities on offer. The synergistic and coordinated development of four components, namely logistics intensive industries, efficient ports, seamless connectivity and requisite skill-base will lead to unlocking of economic value.

Conclusion

India, where the logistics cost around 19% of GDP is amongst the highest in the world, is on the path to complete transformation under the Sagarmala Programme, by unlocking the full potential of India’s coastline and waterways.

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