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Topics covered:

  1. Infrastructure- waterways.




What to study?

For prelims and mains: Key features, need for and significance of the programme.


Context: Government on Monday said it has created about 10,000 jobs under its ambitious ‘Sagarmala’ initiative during the last three years.


About Sagarmala:

What is it?

  • The Sagarmala project seeks to develop a string of ports around India’s coast.
  • The objective of this initiative is to promote “Port-led development” along India’s 7500 km long coastline.
  • It aims 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.
  • Nodal ministry:The Union Ministry of Shipping has been appointed as the nodal ministry for this initiative.
  • To implement this, State governments would set up State Sagarmala committees, headed by the chief minister or the minister in charge of ports.
  • At the central level, a Sagarmala Development Company (SDC) will be setup to provide equity support to assist various special purpose vehicles (SPVs) setup for various projects.


The Sagarmala initiative will address challenges by focusing on three pillars of development, namely:

  1. 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.
  2. Port Infrastructure Enhancement, including modernization and setting up of new ports.
  3. Efficient Evacuation to and from hinterland.


Why is it important?

India is located along key international trade routes in the Indian Ocean and has a long coastline of over 7,500 km. Yet, capacity constraints and lack of modern facilities at Indian ports tremendously elongates the time taken to ship goods in and out of the country and has held back India’s share in world trade.

Developing rivers as inland waterways can also help save domestic logistics costs too.

Sagarmala could boost India’s merchandise exports to $110 billion by 2025 and create an estimated 10 million new jobs (four million in direct employment).