Modi Sagar Mala Yojana Project
India, as a country lies in the middle of Indian Ocean. The geographical location of India is both strategic as well as fragile. On one hand it offers a big coastal area to the country and on the other, the threat and responsibility to secure the coastal region too is huge. Our real problem is not in securing our borders but coast line and hence this Modi Sagar Mala Yojana.
The Sagar Mala Yojana was formally approved on 25th March 2015 by the then union cabinet. As per sources, this project has been the dream project of ex prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is just taking a step forward in realizing it. It is said that Modi’s Sagar Mala Yojana would boost the country’s Gross Domestic Product by 2 per cent.
The significance of Sagar Mala Yojana
India is seventh largest nation of the world and is bound by see from three directions, which makes it one of the biggest coastlines of the world. Considering such a vast coastline of more than 7,000 Km India has, it should ideally do more than 90 per cent of its import-export through sea, which is not how it happens and thus there is a huge gap in what we have and what we are currently doing.
Ironically, the ports contribute to just 1 per cent of the entire GDP, whereas the road sector contributes 6 per cent and railways 9 per cent towards the gross domestic product. There is a huge contradiction in what we can do with our coastlines.
If we identify as to what is the reason for such a poor contribution of ports towards the GDP, we would find that it is nothing but inadequate linkage of ports and poor infrastructure, which leads to such a meager utilization of ports. Keeping all these aspects in consideration, the present government has identified that is if quite crucial for national development that all the ports of India be connected and managed well and then only we can utilize and grow out of our vast available coastline.
The focus of Sagar Mala Yojana
The Sagar Mala Yojana is primarily based on the three pillars of focus, namely:
- Modernization of port’s infrastructure
- Pro-active policy utilization pertaining to ports and rendering institutional framework to the stakeholders
- Developing sustainable and efficient transport infrastructure so that all the ports are interconnected with the mainstream economy and best could be derived out of their availability.
The current infrastructure of coastlines
Foor ununderstandable reasons, the governments so far in India have never focused entirely on developing a good coast line for the nation which is surrounded by sea from three sides. If we see some of the developed nations of the world like Netherlands, Dubai, Korea, Japan, China; some of these countries do not have a bigger coastline that India but still they have developed their coast with modern techniques for export import to prosper without any hindrance. It is time that Indian government should rise up and build a coastline for India that develops a bigger infrastructure for the Indian coast.
Integrated development for the coasts with Sagarmala Project
Moreover, the Indian government has identified around 1200 small and big islands that would have around 189 light houses for proper vigilance and tracking.
All this would in turn boost the overall trade and tourism business. Coastal Economic Zones would be created with modern support and planned infrastructure and would carry along adequate fiscal incentives that attract more and more investment to these townships and islands. For instance, Kandla port in Gujarat is one port that has more than two lakh acres of free land within its possession and would be developed as a CEZ.
The Sagarmala Yojana would undertake redevelopment of new and existing ports through upgrading them to be developed enough to handle extensive use of equipments and IT and thus bring in an improved monitoring and hi-tech infrastructure for day to day business activity. The Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust itself, which is one of the biggest ports in India, would alone get a big amount of Rs 4,000 Crore for development as an SEZ.
These model ports would build infrastructure in a way that allows bigger ships to be docked in more numbers thereby facilitating smoother port activity. These ports would focus n chemicals, energy, coal and other commodities. Along with this, inter waterways would also be developed so that the entire countries and all these ports are connected well with the mainland throughout the nation.
India has a huge coastline and this brings in a lot of opportunity to develop these ports as a profit center for creating sources of renewable energy and this is yet another segment that government is focusing on. This would call for a lot of foreign investment. The power generated from these centers would in turn feed these coastal areas and their infrastructure so that optimum power supply is maintained.
Last but not the least, the Modi government, which is famous for launching infrastructural development and social welfare schemes has taken a concrete step in building India as an Asian giant in export import market by connecting and bettering the available coastlines in India. This, if done the way Sagar Mala Yojana proposes would go a long way in making India a Superpower in times to come.
Coastal Berth Scheme
The Coastal Berth scheme is already active under Sagarmala Programme the central government announced that it will be extended till the end of 2020. As per the scheme, the central government desires to increase the navigability of 7500 km coastline by removing settled silt from the seabed.
States Under the Project
As of now, the scheme will be implemented in 8 states. 12 projects are already under way in Maharashtra, 10 in Goa and Andhra Pradesh collectively, 6 in Karnataka, 2 in Tamil Nadu and Gujarat each and 1 project in West Bengal.
Financial Assistance For the Scheme
Overall, the central government will have to shell out around Rs. 1075.61 crore for the completion of 23 of 47 projects. As of now, Rs. 390.42 crore has been offered for these, while the selected ports will receive Rs. 230.01 crore. The 24 ports, which have not been given place in the list as of now, require extra development. Once these are done, they will be given financial assistance as well.
Waterways are no longer considered an important way of transportation. Due to several reasons, the importance of national waterways has dipped. With the implementation of this scheme, state authorities will be able to develop the ports and related infrastructure. It has been announced that central authority will meet 50% expenses. The remaining expense will be the responsibility of state and respective port department.
Creating detailed project reports is also a must. With the development and implementation of this program, the central government will be able to improve nation as well as international cargo transportation via sea routes.