Sagar Mala project

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Sagarmala Project
Sagarmal logo.jpg
Prime Minister(s)Narendra Modi
MinistryMinistry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways (India)
Key peopleKailash Agarwal, Bhushan Kumar [Joint Secretary of Ministry Of Shipping, India] IRS(E)
Established31 July 2015; 7 years ago (2015-07-31)

The Sagarmala Programme (transl. garland of the sea) is an initiative by the government of India to enhance the performance of the country's logistics sector. The programme envisages unlocking the potential of waterways and the coastline to minimize infrastructural investments required to meet these targets.[1][2]

It entails investing 8.5 trillion (equivalent to 9.7 trillion, US$120 billion or €120 billion in 2020) (2018) to set up new mega ports, modernizing India's existing ports, developing of 14 Coastal Economic Zones (CEZs) and Coastal Economic Units, enhancing port connectivity via road, rail, multi-modal logistics parks, pipelines & waterways and promoting coastal community development, with the aim of boosting merchandise exports by US$110 billion and generating around 10 million direct and indirect jobs.

The Sagarmala Programme is the flagship programme of the Ministry of Shipping to promote port-led development in the country by exploiting India's 7,517 km long coastline, 14,500 km of potentially navigable waterways and its strategic location on key international maritime trade routes. Sagarmala aims to modernize India's Ports, so that port-led development can be augmented and coastlines can be developed to contribute to India's growth. It also aims at "transforming the existing Ports into modern world-class Ports and integrate the development of the Ports, the Industrial clusters and hinterland and efficient evacuation systems through road, rail, inland and coastal waterways resulting in Ports becoming the drivers of economic activity in coastal areas."[3]


The Sagarmala Programme was originally mooted by the National Democratic Alliance (India) government under Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 2003 as the maritime equivalent to the Golden Quadrilateral, another project under his government in the roads and highways sector. The Programme aimed to exploit India's vast coastlines and industrial waterways to drive industrial development.[4] It was approved by the cabinet in March 2015.[5]

The National Sagarmala Apex Committee (NSAC) is composed of the Minister of Shipping with Cabinet Ministers from stakeholder ministries and ministers in charge of ports in India's maritime states. The NSAC approved the overall National Perspective Plan (NPP) and regularly reviews the progress of implementation of these plans.[6][7]

To assist in the implementation of Sagarmala projects, the Sagarmala Development Company Limited (SDCL) was incorporated on 31 August 2016, after receiving Cabinet approval on 20 July 2016, for providing funding support to project SPVs and projects in-line with Sagarmala objectives. Additionally, SDCL is also in the process of preparation of Detailed Project Report (DPRs) and feasibility studies for specific projects that could provide avenues for future equity investment by the company. The Sagarmala Development Company was incorporated after approval from the Indian Cabinet on 20 July 2016 with an initial authorized share capital of Rs. 1000 Crore and subscribed share capital of Rs. 90 Crore, to give a push to port-led development.[8] The present subscribed share capital of SDCL is Rs. 215 Crore.

The Indian Port Rail & Ropeway Corporation Limited (IPRCL) was incorporated on 10 July 2015 to undertake the port-rail connectivity projects under Sagarmala Programme.

Sethusamudram Corporation Ltd is also a participant public sector enterprise in this project.

The Sagarmala National Perspective Plan was released by the Prime Minister on 14-April-2016[9] at the maiden Maritime India Summit 2016, with details on Project Plan and Implementation.[10]

The scheme[edit]


Under Sagarmala Programme, 577 projects, at an estimated investment of approximately 8.570500 lakh crore (equivalent to 9.7 trillion or US$120 billion in 2020), have been identified across port modernization & new port development, port connectivity enhancement, port-linked coastal economic zone industrialization and coastal community development for phase wise implementation over the period 2015 to 2035. As per the approved implementation plan of Sagarmala scheme, these projects are to be taken up by the relevant Central Ministries/Agencies and State Governments preferably through private/PPP mode. The details are as below.

Project Theme No. of Projects Project Cost (Rs 10)
Port Modernisation 245 1,416,410 million (equivalent to 1.6 trillion, US$20 billion or €20 billion in 2020)
Connectivity Enhancement 210 2,444,640 million (equivalent to 2.9 trillion, US$36 billion or €36 billion in 2020)
Port-Linked Industrialisation 57 4,639,700 million (equivalent to 5.5 trillion, US$69 billion or €68 billion in 2020)
Coastal Community Development 65 69,760 million (equivalent to 83 billion, US$1.0 billion or €1.0 billion in 2020)
Total 577 8,570,500 million (equivalent to 10 trillion, US$130 billion or €130 billion in 2020)


As of 31-Mar-2018, a total of 492 projects (4.255630 lakh crore (equivalent to 4.8 trillion or US$61 billion in 2020)) were under various stages of implementation, development and completion.

Port-modernization under Sagarmala

Since about more than 90% of India's trade by volume is conducted via the country's maritime route, there is a continuous need to develop India's ports and trade-related infrastructure to accelerate growth in the manufacturing industry and to assist the 'Make in India' initiative. India has 12 major ports and approximately 200 non-major ports administered by Central and State Governments respectively.

As per the studies conducted under the Sagarmala Programme, it is expected that by 2025, cargo traffic at Indian ports will be approximately 2500 million tonnes per year while the current cargo handling capacity of Indian ports is only 1500 million tonnes per year. A roadmap has been prepared for increasing the Indian port capacity to over 3500 million tonnes per year by 2025 to cater to the growing traffic. This includes port operational efficiency improvement, capacity expansion of existing ports and new port development.

Under Project Unnati, the global benchmarks were adopted to improve the efficiency and productivity KPIs for 12 major ports. Around 116 initiatives were identified across 12 major ports to unlock more than 100 MTPA capacity just through efficiency improvement. Out of which, 86 initiatives have been implemented to unlock around 80 MTPA capacity.

Mega Ports[edit]

Six megaports are planned in Sagarmala project.[12]

Location State Status
Sagar Island West Bengal DPR under preparation
Paradip Outer Harbour Odisha DPR under preparation.
Sirkazhi Tamil Nadu Techno Economic Feasibility Report(TEFR) prepared.
Kanyakumari Tamil Nadu Major Transhipment Port at Kanyakumari. SPV formed for the purpose - March, 2019.
Belikeri Karnataka Techno Economic Feasibility Report (TEFR) prepared.
Vadhavan Maharashtra DPR under preparation.

Port-linked industrialization under Sagarmala[edit]

Coastal Economic Zones (CEZ) and Coastal Economic Units (CEU)[edit]

Coastal Economic Zones (CEZ) is an important component of the Sagarmala Programme aimed at port-led industrial development of 14 business-friendly Coastal Economic Zones (CEZ) with the investment of 4,639,700 million (equivalent to 5.5 trillion, US$69 billion or €68 billion in 2020), centered around ports in India spread across national coastline of 7,500 km, by using Make in India indigenous manufacturing scheme. Sectors targeted for manufacturing units are maritime and inland waterways, water transport, coastal and cruise shipping, and solar and wind energy generation, auto, telecom and IT, etc. Each CEZ will cover economic region consisting of several coastal districts with strong linkage to the ports in that region. Each CEZs will also create synergy with industrial corridors passing through the region, such as Delhi–Mumbai Industrial Corridor Project, Mumbai-Bangalore economic corridor, Dedicated Freight Corridor, Chennai Bangalore Industrial Corridor, Visakhapatnam–Chennai Industrial Corridor and Amritsar Delhi Kolkata Industrial Corridor, etc.[13][14][15][16]

Each CEZ will have several Coastal Economic Units (CEU), and in turn each CEU will have several Port-Linked Industrial Clusters (PLIC). "Coastal Employment Units" (CEUs) serve as nodes within CEZ, each CEU industrial is an industrial estates with multiple industries. Each "Port-Linked Industrial Clusters" (PLIC) within CEU will have several manufacturing units.[13][14][15]

Benefits include national GDP growth with ease of doing business by boosting export by US$100 billion, 150,000 job creation by 2025, reduction in export cargo logistics cost and time, and increased global competitiveness of Indian exports.[13][14][16]

List of CEZs proposed under the Sagarmala Programme[edit]

Total 14 CEZs are planned to be developed in phases across coastal India.[14]

  1. Kachch CEZ
  2. Saurashtra CEZ
  3. Suryapur CEZ
  4. North Konkan CEZ
  5. South Konkan CEZ
  6. Dakshin Kanara CEZ
  7. Malabar CEZ
  8. Mannar CEZ
  9. Poompuhar CEZ
  10. VCIC South CEZ
  11. VCIC Central CEZ
  12. VCIC North CEZ
  13. Kalinga CEZ
  14. Gaud CEZ


Of the 51, 44,600 crore (equivalent to 510 billion, US$6.3 billion or €6.2 billion in 2020) port connectivity rail projects, 11 projects are already complete and rest are under execution.[17]

List of Port-Linked Industrial Clusters (PLIC)[edit]

Total 37 port-linked industrial clusters across several sectors:[14]

  • Discrete Manufacturing Cluster, total 23:
  • Petrochemical Cluster, total 4:
  • Power Cluster, total 4:
  • Steel Cluster, total 2:
  • Maritime Cluster, total 2:
  • Cement Cluster, total 2:

Other initiatives for promoting port-linked industrialization under Sagarmala[edit]

In November 2017, with the development of first Special Economic Zone centered around the busiest cargo ports in India that handles 40% of India's export-import volume, Jawaharlal Nehru Port east of Mumbai, was initiated. Several large companies from telecom, auto and IT sectors are expected to bid for the 200 hectares of export-oriented manufacturing units in the SEZ to reduce export logistics cost, thus also generating direct jobs by infusing new technology, investment and world's best management practices.

Further, development of Smart Industrial Port City (SIPC) at Paradip and at Kandla ports and Coastal Employment Units (CEUs) at V.O. Chaidambarnar Port Trust and Kamarajar Port Limited is under progress.

Port-connectivity enhancement under Sagarmala

Under Sagarmala Programme, the endeavor is to provide enhanced connectivity between the ports and the domestic production/consumption centres. More than 210 connectivity projects have been identified. Some of the types of connectivity projects considered are listed below:

  • Coastal Berths at various major and non-major ports
  • National waterways prioritized for development in the first phase
  • Heavy haul rail corridor from Talcher to Paradip
  • Connectivity to Dedicated freight corridors
  • Last mile rail and road connectivity projects
  • Major rail connectivity projects
  • Freight friendly Expressway projects connecting the major ports
  • Development of Multi-Modal Logistics Parks
  • POL Pipelines

Coastal community development under Sagarmala[edit]


Sagarmala Programme in coordination with related Central Ministries and State Governments would fund capacity building, infrastructure, and social development projects related to value addition in fisheries, aquaculture and cold chain development. As part of the coastal community development component of the Sagarmala Programme, Ministry is part-funding fishing harbour projects in convergence with Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying (DADF).

Coastal Tourism

For promoting tourism in maritime states under Sagarmala, projects have been identified in convergence with Ministry of Tourism and tourism development departments of maritime state governments. Key coastal tourism projects include:

  • Development of Coastal Circuits under Swadesh Darshan Scheme of Ministry of Tourism
  • Development of infrastructure for promoting Cruise tourism
  • Development of lighthouses
  • National Maritime Heritage Museum Complex at Lothal
  • Underwater viewing gallery and restaurant at Beyt Dwarka

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Vision Ministry of Shipping, GOI, Government of India". SagarMala. 8 June 2018. Retrieved 1 November 2018.
  2. ^ "SagarMala - Concept & Objectives Ministry of Shipping, GOI, Government of India". Retrieved 1 November 2018.
  3. ^ "Concept Note on Sagar Mala Project:Working Paper" (PDF). Ministry of Shipping, Government of India. Retrieved 4 July 2015.
  4. ^ "All you wanted to know about Sagarmala". The Hindu BusinessLine. Retrieved 1 November 2018.
  5. ^ "Cabinet gives 'in principle' nod to concept of Sagarmala project". Economic Times, Times of India. 27 March 2015.
  6. ^ "Sagarmala: Concept and implementation towards Blue Revolution". Press Information Bureau. 25 March 2015.
  7. ^ India, Ministry of Shipping, Government of. "Ministry of Shipping, Government of India".
  8. ^ "Nod to Sagarmala Development Company with Rs 1,000 crore authorised share capital - The Economic Times". 20 July 2016. Retrieved 1 November 2018.
  9. ^ "Sagarmala National Perspective Plan Released".
  10. ^[bare URL PDF]
  11. ^ "Sagarmala Programme".
  12. ^ "Sagarmala Programme". Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  13. ^ a b c "Decks cleared for first mega CEZ; 45 companies may invest Rs 15k-crore in phase-I.", Economic Times, 1 November 2017.
  14. ^ a b c d e "Sagarmala: Port-led industrialization.", Government of India.
  15. ^ a b "The A to Z of coastal economic zones.", Deccan Chronicle, 17 February 2016.
  16. ^ a b "Sagarmala Project proposes 14 coastal economic zones across India.", First Post, 29 November 2016.
  17. ^ Projects worth Rs 44.6k crore underway for rail connectivity to ports, Economic Times.