Mumbai, April 14: To fast-track port-led infrastructure development that could employ 10 million Indians, the government has decided to reduce timeframe of its ambitious Sagarmala project by half, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday, April 14 said.
"Following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's intervention, it has been decided to finish Sagarmala project in five years instead of 10 years to create a massive 10 million jobs," the road transport, highways and shipping Minister said at the maiden Maritime India Summit here. "The project will boost India's merchandise exports to USD 110 billion."
The National Perspective Programme for Sagarmala was launched here by the Prime Minister today. Gadkari said the flagship Sagarmala project to harness India's 7,500-km coastline will promote port-led development in the country.
"The programme could lead to annual logistics cost savings of close to Rs 35,000 crore, and of the 10 million new jobs that will be created, 40 lakh will be direct employment," he said. This plan is based on four strategic levers -- optimising multi-modal transport to reduce cost of domestic cargo, minimising time and cost of export-import cargo logistics, lowering costs for bulk industries by locating them closer to the coast, and improving export competitiveness by locating discrete manufacturing clusters near ports.
The Sagarmala project is an amalgamation of 150 projects categorised into port modernisation, connectivity, port-led industrialisation and coastal community development, with the government planning to invest Rs 12 lakh crore under various programmes.
Under the port modernisation drive, 53 projects are expected to be undertaken to ensure the port handling capacity is increased by 1,000 million tonne per annum, which includes 6 new mega port projects.
"The projects under this sub-category are expected to come at an investment of USD 15 billion," he said. Similarly, in the connectivity category, USD 30 billion investment is projected for 10,000 km of new connectivity infrastructure projects as well as 7 new dry ports.
Under port-led industrialisation, 27 industrial clusters will be developed by investing USD 15 billion.