CHENNAI: The concept of the Sagar Mala project, which will not only connect the ports to the hinterland by road and rail but also develop the inland and coastal waterways as a major transport route, is set to be finalised.
Sagar Mala was an initiative announced by then Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee on I-Day in 2003 with the objective of achieving rapid capacity expansion and modernisation of ports along India’s east and west coasts, the Shipping Ministry said.
A brainstorming session under Shipping Secretary Vishwapati Trivedi was held on Tuesday. Forty-five stakeholders representing the Ministry of Railways, Surface Transport and Highways, the Planning Commission, Customs, major and minor ports, State maritime boards and various other organisations participated.
The focus was on initiatives to be taken up for port-led development, policy framework to promote coastal shipping and inland water transport and institutional framework for implementation of the Sagar Mala project.
The project envisaged the development of India’s ports to levels comparable with the best global ports in terms of infrastructure, efficiency and quality of service, increasing the tonnage capacity, upgrading and creating shipbuilding and ship repair facilities and increasing the use of inland waterways.
A concept note prepared by the Ministry has perceived Sagar Mala as an integrated infrastructure-cum-policy project to develop the maritime sector.
The concept paper has proposed that the growth of maritime sector be achieved by developing Maritime Economic Regions (MER).