Sagarmala Project Current Affairs
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated first phase of Ro-Ro (roll-on, roll-off) ferry service between Ghogha in Bhavnagar district and Dahej in Bharuch district in the Gulf of Cambay, Gujarat. It is South Asia’s first world class Ro-Ro ferry service.
The Ro-Ro ferry services are vessels made to carry wheeled cargo (such as cars, trucks, semi-trailer trucks, trailers, and railroad cars) that are driven on and off ferry on their own wheels or using a platform vehicle. It is opposite of lift-on and lift-off (lo-lo) vessels which uses crane to load and unload cargo.
The first of its kind Ro-Ro ferry in India will be able to carry up to 100 vehicles and 250 passengers between the two ports. It will reduce the distance between Ghogha in Saurashtra and Dahej is South Gujrat from 310 kilometres by road to 30 kilometres. Besides, it will also reduce seven to eight hours of travel time to link Saurashtra with South Gujarat to one hour.
The ferry service will save travel time and fuel and reduce pressure on congested roads. It will promote regional trade and business and prove to be game-changer for transportation of goods and passengers. It will provide at least one crore jobs in the next 4-5 years. It will give a boost to the local economy.
Ro-Ro ferry is a small part of Sagarmala project of Central Government that aims to promote port-led development in the country by harnessing India’s 7,500-km long coastline, 14,500-km of potentially navigable waterways and strategic location on key international maritime trade routes.
The Union Ministry of Shipping has sanctioned the Capital Dredging Project of Ro Pax Ferry Services between Gogha & Dahej, in Gulf of Cambay in Gujarat under Sagarmala programme.
The total project cost is estimated to be Rs 234 Crore of which 50% will be funded by the Union Government under the Sagarmala programme.
Significance of Project
- This is first of its kind project in India as it will be executed in the area of world’s 2nd highest tidal range.
- This project on completion will result in reduction in motorable distance of 231 kms between Gogha and Dahej in Gujarat to mere 31 kms.
- It will pave way for launching India’s first roll on-roll off (Ro-Ro) vessel passenger ferry services on this route by April 2017.
- Besides, it will reduce the travel time to 1 hour from 7 hours. It will also result in savings in fuel, reduction in CO2 emission and reduction in road congestion.
- The project will open up new avenues in coastal shipping & tourism and help in socio-economic development of proximate areas.
- It will also help in utilisation of inland waterways through River Narmada for shipping goods from industries located upstream.
What is Sagarmala Programme?
- The Sagarmala Programme is Union Government’s flagship strategic, customer-oriented initiative to achieve the broad objective of promoting port-led economic development in India.
- The ambitious programme seeks to harness vast potential of India’s 7,500 km long coastline, 14,500 km of potentially navigable waterways and strategic location on key international maritime trade routes.
- It envisages the growth of coastal and inland shipping as a major mode of transport for carriage of goods and people along the coastal and riverine economic centres.
- Sagarmala when integrated with the development of inland waterways will help to reduce cost and time for transporting goods, benefiting industries and export/import trade.
Gulf of Cambay
The Gulf of Cambay (also known as Gulf of Khambhat) is an inlet of the Arabian Sea in the state of Gujarat along the west coast of India. It divides the Kathiawar peninsula to the west from the eastern part of Gujarat state. Narmada, Tapti, Mahi and Sabarmati rivers drain into it.