Shri Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister of Shipping, Road Transport and Highways,chaired a review meeting of the Sagarmala initiative. “Sagarmala” is an initiative of the Government of India, with the objective of promoting “Port-led development” along India’s 7500 km long coastline. The Union Ministry of Shipping has been appointed as the nodal ministry for this initiative.
The meeting was attended by Shri. Rajive Kumar, Secretary Shipping and other senior officials from the Ministry of Shipping. The meeting also included a presentation by the consultants, who have been appointed for carrying out the National Perspective Plan Study as part of the Sagarmala initiative.
The meeting covered the possible actions to be taken for achieving the objectives of overall logistics cost reduction using water-ways and “port-led development” in the country. Topics discussed included the potential for developing a world-class Transshipment port in India and promoting the usage of coastal shipping and inland waterways for transporting key commodities like coal, iron-ore, food-grains and petroleum products between the origin and the destination. The Minister highlighted the importance for de-congesting the road and rail network in India by using inland waterways and coastal shipping and the economic and environmental benefits from the same.
The meeting also covered the timelines for developing a masterplan for the capacity expansion in the existing major ports and creation of new ports with the objective of coast and logistics optimization. The Minister highlighted the direct and indirect socio-economic benefits to the coastal regions by developing the Indian ports and maritime sector.