Sagar Mala

Prelims & Mains


To promote port-led direct and indirect development

Objective of the Sagarmala project

To promote port-led direct and indirect development and to provide infrastructure to transport goods to and from ports quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively.

It  aim to develop access to new development regions with intermodal solutions and promotion of the optimum modal split, enhanced connectivity with main economic centres and beyond through expansion of rail, inland water, coastal and road services.

Enhancing the capacity of major and non-major ports and modernizing them to make them efficient, thereby enabling them to become drivers of port-led economic development, optimizing the use of existing and future transport assets and developing new lines/linkages for transport (including roads, rail, inland waterways and coastal routes), setting up of logistics hubs, and establishment of industries and manufacturing centres to be served by ports in EXIM and domestic trade

In addition to strengthening port and evacuation infrastructure, it also aims at simplifying procedures used at ports for cargo movement and promotes usage of electronic channels for information exchange leading to quick, efficient, hassle-free and seamless cargo movement.


Presently, Indian ports handle more than 90 percent of India’s total EXIM trade volume.

However, the current  proportion of merchandize trade in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of India is only 42 percent, whereas for some developed countries and regions in the world such as Germany and European Union, it is 75 percent and 70 percent respectively.

Therefore, there is a great scope to increase the share of merchandising trade in India’s GDP. With the Union Government’s “Make in India” initiative, the share of merchandise trade in India’s GDP is expected to increase and approach levels achieved in developed countries.

India lags far behind in ports and logistics infrastructure. Against a share of 9 percent of railways and 6 percent of roads in the GDP the share of ports is only 1 percent.

In addition high logistics costs make Indian exports uncompetitive.

Therefore Sagarmala project has been envisioned to provide ports and the shipping the rightful place in the Indian economy and to enable port-led development.

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Amongst Indian States, Gujarat has been a pioneer in adopting the strategy of port-led development, with significant results.

While in the 1980’s the state grew at only 5.08 percent per year (National average was 5.47 percent), this accelerated to 8.15 percent per annum in the 1990’s (All India average 6.98 percent) and subsequently to more than 10 percent per annum, substantially benefitting from the port-led development model.

sagar mala
sagar mala

Development projects that could be undertaken in Sagarmala initiative are

(i) Port-led industrialization

(ii) Port based urbanization

(iii) Port based and coastal tourism and recreational activities

(iv) Short-sea shipping coastal shipping and Inland Waterways Transportation

(v) Ship building, ship repair and ship recycling

(vi) Logistics parks, warehousing, maritime zones/services

(vii) Integration with hinterland hubs

(viii) Offshore storage, drilling platforms

(ix) Specialization of ports in certain economic activities such as energy, containers, chemicals, coal, agro products, etc.

(x) Offshore Renewable Energy Projects with base ports for installations

(xi) Modernizing the existing ports and development of new ports.

This strategy incorporates both aspects of port-led development viz. port-led direct development and port-led indirect development.

Focus of Sagaramala Project

(i) Supporting and enabling Port-led Development through appropriate policy and institutional interventions and providing for an institutional framework for ensuring inter-agency and ministries/departments/states’ collaboration for integrated development,

(ii) Port Infrastructure Enhancement, including modernization and setting up of new ports, and

(iii) Efficient Evacuation to and from hinterland.

National Perspective Plan for the Sagarmala programme

National Perspective Plan for the Sagarmala programme prepared and approved by the National Sagarmala Apex Committee

Total of 173 projects have been initially identified under four projects archetypes of Sagarmala in National Perspective Plan, April 2016. The Project archetype and the number of projects identified are given below:

S.No Project Archetype Number of Projects
1 Port Modernisation 53
2 Port Connectivity 83
3 Port Led Industrialisation 29
4 Coastal Community development 8

26 Port rail connectivity projects were identified under NPP, of which 2 have been completed and 18 are under implementation by Ministry of Railways. Most of these projects will be completed by 2019-20.

For 1 project, Indian Port Rail Corporation Limited has awarded the PMC work and 1 project is being  implemented by the Port itself.  Remaining 4 projects are for implementation through JV/Non – Government Rail (NGR) model.

Sagarmala Committee

In order to have effective mechanism at the state level for coordinating and facilitating Sagarmala related projects, the State Governments will be suggested to set up State Sagarmala Committee to be headed by Chief Minister/Minister in Charge of Ports with members from relevant Departments and agencies.

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The state level Committee will also take up matters on priority as decided in the NSAC.

At the state level, the State Maritime Boards/State Port Departments shall service the State Sagarmala Committee and also be, inter alia, responsible for coordination and implementation of individual projects, including through SPVs (as may be necessary) and oversight.

The development of each Coastal economic zone shall be done through individual projects and supporting activities that will be undertaken by the State Government, Central line Ministries and SPVs to be formed by the State Governments at the state level or by SDC and ports, as may be necessary.

Sagarmala Coordination and Steering Committee (SCSC)

Sagarmala Coordination and Steering Committee (SCSC) shall be constituted under the chairmanship of the Cabinet Secretary with Secretaries of the Ministries of Shipping, Road Transport and Highways, Tourism, Defence, Home Affairs, Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Departments of Revenue, Expenditure, Industrial Policy and Promotion, Chairman, Railway Board and CEO, NITI Aayog as members.

This Committee will provide coordination between various ministries, state governments and agencies connected with implementation and review the progress of implementation of the National Perspective Plan, Detailed Master Plans and projects. It will, inter alia, consider issues relating to funding of projects and their implementation.

This Committee will also examine financing options available for the funding of projects, the possibility of public-private partnership in project financing/construction/ operation.

Proposed outcome of the project

The Sagarmala initiative would also strive to ensure sustainable development of the population living in the Coastal Economic Zone (CEZ).

This would be done by synergising and coordinating with State Governments and line Ministries of Central Government through their existing schemes and programmes such as those related to community and rural development, tribal development and employment generation, fisheries, skill development, tourism promotion etc.

In order to provide funding for such projects and activities that may be covered by departmental schemes a separate fund by the name ‘Community Development Fund’ would be created.

National Sagarmala Apex Committee (NSAC)

A National Sagarmala Apex Committee (NSAC) is envisaged for overall policy guidance and high level coordination, and to review various aspects of planning and implementation of the plan and projects.

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The NSAC shall be chaired by the Minister incharge of Shipping, with Cabinet Ministers from stakeholder Ministries and Chief Ministers/Ministers incharge of ports of maritime states as members.

This committee, while providing policy direction and guidance for the initiative’s implementation, shall approve the overall National Perspective Plan (NPP) and review the progress of implementation of these plans.

Sagarmala Development Company (SDC)

As part of the efforts to promote port-led development in the country, the Sagarmala Development Company (SDC) has been incorporated under the Companies Act, 2013.

The company will have an initial Authorized Share Capital of Rs. 1,000 Crore and a subscribed share capital of Rs. 90 Crore.

Objective of the Company:

1.To identify port-led development projects under the Sagarmala Programme and provide equity support for the project Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) set up by the Ports / State / Central Ministries

  1. It is under the administrative control of the Ministry of Shipping.
  1. The company would help in structuring activities, bidding out projects for private sector participation, identifying suitable risk management measures for strategic projects across multiple states / regions and obtaining requisite approvals and clearances.
  1. The implementation of the identified projects would be taken up by the relevant ports, state governments/Maritime Boards, central ministries, through private or PPP mode.
  1. The Company would act as the nodal agency for coordination and monitoring of all the currently identified projects under Sagarmala as well as other projects emerging from the master plans or other sources.
  1. It would undertake the preparation of the detailed master plans for the Coastal Economic Zones (CEZs) identified as part of the National Perspective Plan (NPP) and provide a framework for ensuring the integrated development of Indian maritime sector.
  1. It would also manage the funding of coastal community development projects identified under Sagarmala. This will include projects related to value addition in fisheries, aquaculture, cold chain development, skill development, livelihood generation, local tourism and recreational facilities etc. which would be beneficial to the livelihoods of the coastal communities.
  1. SDC would be raising funds as debt/equity (as long term capital), as per the project requirements, by leveraging resources provided by the Government of India and from multi-lateral and bilateral funding agencies. It would also aim to increase the scope of private sector participation in project development.
Raja Raja Cholan
About Raja Raja Cholan 659 Articles
Trainer & Mentor for aspirants preparing for civil service examination

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