Topic of the Day - Sagarmala Project [Government Schemes for UPSC]

Government schemes are an important segment of the UPSC syllabus. In this article, you can read all about the critical Sagarmala Project, which is related to ports and waterway transportation in the country. This is an important topic for both the prelims and the IAS mains.

The Sagarmala Project was initiated by the Government of India to promote port-led development in India. The project aims to harness the 7500 km long coastline of the country to unleash its economic potential. The project also seeks to boost infrastructure for transporting goods to and from ports quickly, efficiently, and cost-effectively.

Although the project was originally mooted in 2003, it came into being in 2015 when it got cabinet approval. The project is important because Indian ports in general, still face operational and infrastructural challenges. Additionally, last-mile connectivity to ports is a big constraint in the seamless transport of goods to and from ports and the hinterland. Coastal and waterway transport is the cheapest and safest mode of transport, but in India, it is not harnessed to the best.

Sagarmala Project Components

  1. Port Modernization & New Port Development – extending the capacity of existing ports and developing new ports
  2. Port Connectivity Enhancement – improving port-hinterland connectivity, optimizing cost and time of cargo movement through multi-modal logistics solutions including domestic waterways
  3. Port-linked Industrialization – Developing industrial clusters close to ports and developing Coastal Economic Zones
  4. Coastal Community Development – Promoting sustainable development of coastal communities through skill development & livelihood generation activities, fisheries development, coastal tourism, etc.

Sagarmala Project Objectives

  • Decreasing the cost of transporting domestic cargo by optimizing the modal mix.
  • Identifying future industrial capacities near the coasts to reduce the logistics cost of bulk commodities.
  • Developing discrete manufacturing clusters close to ports to enhance export competitiveness.
  • Optimizing the time-cost of export-import container movement.

The project seeks to lower the logistics cost for export-import and domestic cargo through optimized investment in infrastructure. The scheme also seeks to create up to 40 lakh new direct jobs and 60 lakh new indirect jobs.

Sagarmala Development Company Limited

The Sagarmala Development Company Limited (SDCL), established in 2016, develops and formulates projects borne out of the National Perspective Plan of the Sagarmala project.

Coastal Economic Zone

To implement the Sagarmala project, a National Perspective Plan (NPP) for the entire coastline shall be prepared within six months which will identify potential geographical regions to be called Coastal Economic Zones (CEZs). The living standards of the people living in the CEZs are expected to improve considerably by the Sagarmala project.

Relevant Question for Sagarmala Project

How many states are there in the Sagarmala project?

Under the Sagarmala initiative, the Government plans to develop six new ports across five coastal states of India. 189 projects with a projected cost of USD 21 Billion have been identified. Currently, 42 projects worth around USD 3.6 Billion is under implementation.

What is the ultimate aim of the Sagarmala Project?

The Sagarmala project aims to transform the existing Ports into modern world-class Ports and integrate the development of the Ports, the Industrial clusters, and hinterland and efficient evacuation systems through road, rail, inland, and coastal waterways resulting in Ports becoming the drivers of economic activity in coastal areas.

For more UPSC- related preparation articles visit the links given in the table below. Candidates can visit the UPSC Syllabus page for more information about the general pattern of the exam.

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