The Ministry of Shipping has taken up projects worth Rs 2,302 crore for financial assistance under the Coastal Berth Scheme of the flagship Sagarmala Programme. The Ministry, after due appraisal in consultation with NITI Aayog and Department of Expenditure, has extended the period of the scheme for three years, upto 31st March, 2020 and expanded its scope to cover capital dredging at Major Ports and preparation of DPR for coastal berth project, in Oct 2017.
The projects under Coastal Berth Scheme of the flagship Sagarmala Programme are distributed over eight states with the highest number of projects in Maharashtra (12 projects), Andhra Pradesh & Goa (10 projects), Karnataka (6 projects), Kerala and Tamil Nadu (3 projects), Gujarat (2 projects) and West Bengal (1 project).
The most recent beneficiaries of the scheme were Jawahar Lal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) and Karnataka Government respectively for developing coastal infrastructure at Jawahar Lal Nehru Port, Karwar Port and Old Manglore Port.
The Coastal Berth Scheme 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 financial assistance will also be provided for the preparation of DPRs for the projects to be considered under this scheme. The construction of passenger jetties also includes construction of terminal building and allied infrastructure. The balance expenditure has to be incurred by the respective Ports/ concerned State Governments (including State Maritime Boards) from their own resources.
Once completed, the projects will help to promote coastal shipping and increase its share in domestic cargo movement in India. Better infrastructure for coastal shipping will decongest rail and road network besides ensuring cost competitive and effective multi-modal transportation solution. The country has high potential to use coastal shipping for its internal cargo movement given its 7500 kms long coastline.