Government extends period of Coastal Berth Scheme
The Union Ministry of Shipping has extended period of Coastal Berth scheme of flagship Sagarmala Programme for three years upto March, 2020. Besides, its scope was also expanded to cover capital dredging at Major Ports and preparation of detailed project report (DPR) for coastal berth project. India has high potential to use coastal shipping for its internal cargo movement given its 7500 kms long coastline.
The projects under Coastal Berth Scheme are distributed over eight states with highest number of projects in Maharashtra (12 projects), Andhra Pradesh and Goa (10 projects), Karnataka (6 projects), Kerala and Tamil Nadu (3 projects), Gujarat (2 projects) and West Bengal (1 project).
Out of 47 projects, 23 projects worth Rs. 1075.61 crore have been sanctioned for total financial assistance of Rs. 390.42 crore and Rs. 230.01 crore has been released to major ports, state maritime boards and state governments. The remaining 24 projects are under various stages of development and process of approval.
Coastal Berth Scheme
It aims to provide financial support to ports or state governments for creation of infrastructure for movement of cargo and passenger by sea or national waterways. The admissible financial assistance under the scheme from Central Government is 50% of total cost of project.
The financial assistance is also provided for preparation of DPRs for projects considered under this scheme. The balance expenditure will be incurred by respective Ports/concerned State Governments (including State Maritime Boards) from their own resources.
Projects under the scheme will help to promote coastal shipping and increase its share in domestic cargo movement in India. Better infrastructure for coastal shipping built under it will help to decongest rail and road network besides ensuring cost competitive and effective multi-modal transportation solution.
The Sagarmala project aims to promote port-led development along India’s 7500 km long coastline by developing string of ports around coast. It envisages transforming existing ports into modern world class ports as well as developing new ones. It also aims to develop efficient evacuation systems through road, rail, inland and coastal waterways. The Ministry of Shipping is nodal ministry for this initiative.
Three key components of Sagarmala project are Port Modernization, Efficient Evacuation Systems and Coastal Economic Development. It aims to develop access to new development regions with intermodal solutions and enhanced connectivity with main economic centres and beyond.