Gujarat has transferred 375 acres of land in village Saragvada, on lease, for 99 years at token rate to the Ministry. EPC contract for the project has been awarded to Tata Projects Ltd in March 2022.
While the first tranche of funding of Rs 150 crore has been received from Gujarat, for developing the basic internal infrastructure of the project, under Sagarmala, funds amounting to Rs 122 crore have been released so far.
Water transport being economical as well as eco-friendly mode of transport, the Ministry, under Sagarmala programme, has undertaken Ro-Ro/Ro-Pax and passenger jetty projects across several routes.
Fifteen new projects have been identified in the state of Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Karnataka for development of the Ro-Ro/Ro-Pax ecosystem, taking the tally of RoRo/Ropax jetty projects to 71 under the programme.
Nine projects have already been completed with a total financial assistance of Rs 207 crore under the Sagarmala funding scheme.
Among these, one of the key impact projects is the ROPAX ferry between Ghogha and Hazira, which commenced from November 2020 and has resulted in reduction of travel time, from 10 hours to 4 hours — apart from facilitating quick movement of over 15,000 trucks, 50,000 cars and around 2 lakh passengers so far.
Similarly, to ease the road congestion in Mumbai, the government launched ferry service between Mumbai-Mandwa from November 2022, resulting in reduction of distance of 109 km by road, to 18.5 km sea-distance and time reduction from 3 hours to just 45 minutes.
This service also provided much needed relief to passengers resulting in movement of over 5.5 lakh passengers and more than 1 lakh vehicles so far.
Services have also been started on several routes in North Guwahati–South Guwahati, Dhubri–Hatsingimari, Majuli–Neamati, Wellington Island-Bolgatty.
Promotion of Coastal Shipping is the topmost priority of the Ministry under Sagarmala and several initiatives have been undertaken to promote coastal shipping in the country.
In order to continue this pace and seek further growth of coastal trade, a prospective plan up to 2025 on development of coastal shipping in India, has been prepared by the Asian Development Bank.
To encourage a modal shift, coastal vessels are being provided a discount of 40 per cent in port charges, over foreign going vessels.
Other measures such as reduction of GST on bunker fuel from 18 per cent to 5 per cent, Cabotage relaxation for cargo vessels, integration of inland and coastal cargo, subsidy support to Indian shipping companies, green channel clearance for coastal cargoes and priority berthing for coastal vessels at major ports, are some of the efforts to promote coastal shipping.
The government is providing assistance for construction or upgradation of exclusive coastal berths, platforms or jetties, mechanization of coastal berths, and capital dredging.
Five dedicated coastal berths have already been constructed at various ports and another six are under development at various other ports.
With the advent of Prime Minister GatiShakti and National Logistic Portal, coastal shipping will get further required boost and will help in realizing the goal of bringing down the overall logistic cost.
Under the coastal shipping and Sagarmala programme, there are various projects which specifically focus on promotion of cruise passenger transport.
Upgradation/modernization of the International Cruise Terminal at Indira Dock, Mumbai at a total cost of Rs 303 crore has been undertaken under the Sagarmala programme.
Further, the Ministry is also providing assistance to Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port for development of river cruise terminal and river tourism facility along with riverfront beautification work.