India will spend a total of USD 82 billion (or Rs 6 lakh crores) in more than 574 projects for port development from 2015 to 2035, the Indian Prime Minister announced in his address during the inauguration of Maritime India Summit 2021.
The funding is part of the Sagarmala project for promoting port-led development, which was announced by the Government in 2016.
According to the PM, the capacity of major Indian ports, which was around 870 million tonnes per annum in 2014, has increased to around 1550 million tonnes per annum now.
As far as creating new infrastructure is concerned, the PM announced that mega ports with “world-class infrastructure” are being developed at Vadhavan, Paradip and Deendayal Port in Kandla.
Domestic waterways are found to be a cost effective and environment friendly way of transporting freight. We aim to operationalize 23 waterways by 2030. We would do this through: Infrastructure enhancement, Fairway development, Navigational Aids and Rivers Information System provisioning,
On 2 March, India also saw the launch of the ‘Sagar-Manthan: Mercantile Marine Domain Awareness Centre’, as part of the Maritime India Vision 2030, as an information system for enhancing maritime safety, search and rescue capabilities, security and marine environment protection.
In addition, the Ministry of Port Shipping and Waterways has created a list of 400 projects, with an investment potential of 31 Billion Dollars, to further strengthen Indian maritime sector.
Meanwhile, the PM added, the government approved the Ship-building Financial Assistance Policy for Indian Ship-yards, to encourage domestic shipbuilding. Ship repair clusters will be developed along both coasts by 2022. Domestic ship recycling industry will also be promoted to create ‘Wealth from Waste’.