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बेसिक इंग्लिश का दूसरा सत्र (कक्षा प्रारंभ : 22 अक्तूबर, शाम 3:30 से 5:30)
Freight Traffic Potential for Inland Waterways under Sagarmala
Aug 06, 2016

The Ministry of Shipping organized a workshop on ‘Freight Traffic Potential in Inland Waterways’ under its Sagarmala Programme recently in New Delhi. The workshop was chaired by Amitabh Verma, Chairman, Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) and was attended by representatives from the Government (Ministry of Shipping, IWAI), private and public sector companies like Tata Steel, SAIL, Ultra-tech and IFFCO.

  • The workshop focused on the ways to increase the share of inland waterways in India’s modal mix to reduce logistics costs with minimal investment, as envisioned in the Sagarmala National Perspective plan.
  • The workshop deliberated on the freight traffic potential in National Waterways 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 additional inland waterways identified for early development.
  • The scope for leveraging the Indo-Bangladesh agreement on coastal shipping and extended protocol routes on inland water transit was also discussed.
  • This will enable cheaper movement of cargo to and from North East India and will decongest the road and rail networks, via Siliguri corridor, which are currently being utilized for the same.
  • IWAI representatives highlighted the infrastructure development work currently being undertaken to increase the navigability of the National Waterways and the business development efforts to increase the freight traffic volumes.
  • It was also informed that IWAI will take forward the discussion with the private sector and public sector companies who have expressed long term interest in utilizing the National Waterways for freight movement.
  • The main challenges and issues faced by the potential shippers in utilizing the inland waterways for freight movement were also discussed during the workshop.

India has an extensive network of inland waterways in the form of rivers, canals, backwaters and creeks. Of the total navigable length of 14500 km, 5200 km of the rivers and 4000 km of canals can be used by mechanized craft. However, approximately 90 percent of freight in India currently moves via land transport (road, rail, pipelines). Share of waterways (coastal shipping and inland waterways) in India’s modal mix is lower as compared to countries like USA and China.

Sagarmala Project

To exploit the potential of India’s approximately 7,500 km long coastline and 14,500km of potentially navigable waterways the Sagarmala Programme aims to promote port-led development in the country. The concept of the Sagarmala Programme approved by the Cabinet on 25th March, 2015. The objectives of the Sagarmala Programme are Port modernization & new port development, enhancing port connectivity to hinterland, port led Industrialization and coastal community development.

  • Sagarmala is an intricate programme which has the potential to drive the socio-eco development in the country in a holistic manner.
  • The programme involves drawing up a National Perspective Plan (NPP) for Port Modernization & New Port Development, Port Connectivity Enhancement, Port-Led Industrial Development and Coastal Community Development as a first step for an integrated approach to port led development.
  • The National Perspective Plan for the Sagarmala programme was prepared and approved by the National Sagarmala Apex Committee on 9th April 2016 and released at the maiden Maritime India Summit 2016, on 14th April 2016, by the Prime Minister.
  • This planning process which involved extensive interaction and consultation with concerned states/UT governments, stakeholder Ministries and related PSUs, has been completed and the NPP is developed, has been approved by the National Sagarmala Apex Committee on 9th April, 2016.

Status of Major Works under Sagarmala programme

  • Sagarmala Cell was set up on 1st May, 2015.
  • The setting up of Sagarmala Development Company has been approved by the Cabinet.
  • Twelve Early Bird Projects have been taken up for implementation in FY 2015-16 which relate to hinterland connectivity, port operations, skill building and development of breakwaters.
  • The perspective plans of 14 Coastal Economic Zones (CEZs), identified as part of NPP, have been prepared which will lead to formation of detailed master plans.
  • As part of the NPP, total 173 projects have been initially identified across the programme objectives which will result in significant investment in maritime infrastructure, create employment, reduce logistics cost and boost merchandize exports over the next decade.
  • The implementation of these projects is to be done by the relevant ports, Central Government Ministries, State Governments and State Maritime Boards preferably through private sector or PPP route.
  • Sagarmala Development Company will provide equity support for the project SPVs (State/Port/Central Ministry Level SPVs) and take up residual projects that cannot be funded by any other means/mode.
  • A projection has been made that the identified industrial cluster projects once implemented will enable creation of approximately 1 crore new jobs, including 40 lakh direct jobs and 60 lakhs indirect jobs in the next 10 years.


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