IB Times
IB TimesReuters file

The Union government's ambitious Sagarmala project will utilise seaports around India's 7,500km long coastline to further the country's development. It will create one crore new jobs and would save Rs. 35,000 crore in logistics costs, according to the Sagarmala National Perspective Plan report. 

The project, unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Maritime India Summit on Thursday, is expected to create 40 lakh direct employments, while boosting the merchandise exports to $110 billion by 2025.

Union Minister of Shipping Nitin Gadkari said that with minimal investment, the plan (Sagarmala) envisages substantial reduction in trade costs -- be it export-import or domestic trade, BusinessLine reported.

The minister explained that the plan is based on four strategic levels: "To optimise multi modal transport to reduce the cost of domestic cargo, minimising the time and cost of foreign (export-import) cargo, lowering cost for bulk industries by locating them closer to coast, and improving export competitiveness by locating discrete manufacturing clusters near ports."

Sagarmala is a unification of 150 port projects through modernisation, connectivity and industrialisation. It includes modernisation of existing ports and establishment of five to six new ports to augment capacity, focus on port connectivity through the heavy-haul rail corridor, freight-friendly expressways, and development of strategic inland waterways.

Sagarmala is touted as the first step towards a new era of port-led development in India. The project's timeline has been reduced to five years from 10 years.