With the focus on promoting port-led-development in India, Rs 600 crore has been allocated for the Sagarmala programme in 2017-18. The flagship programme of the Ministry of Shipping, it encompasses capacity expansion and modernisation of ports along India’s coastline, enhancement of port connectivity to the hinterland, port led-industrialisation to promote trade, and sustainable development of coastal communities.
It is known - and recognised - that the Indian economy is one of the fastest growing in the world. However, for this growth to sustain, the infrastructure sector needs acceleration at a much faster pace. With this in mind, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley allocated Rs 396,135 crore for the infrastructure sector in this year´s Budget, up 10 per cent from the previous year.
To make the development of the proposed Sagar Port project in West Bengal financially viable, a grant of Rs 515 crore has been given in principle approval by the government. This is part of the continuous efforts by the Ministry of Shipping during the last two years for the development of this port.
Rs 4 lakh crore spent in the past two and a half years towards building world-class highways and shipping infrastructure in the country, indicate reports. While the ministry has spent about Rs 3 lakh 17 thousand crore to build a total of 14,594 km and award 21,247 km of national highways, the shipping ministry has spent about Rs 80,000 crore for various projects aimed at modernising and mechanising the shipping sector and making it more efficient.
The proposed 54 mtpa major port project at Sagar Island in West Bengal may cost Rs 7,851 crore in the first phase. Kolkata Port Trust appointed RITES to study the feasibility of the project which is a part of the Union Government's plan to set up two major ports, one each in West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh. The Centre plans to invest Rs 73,793.95 crore for the development of various port projects in the Twelfth Five Year Plan.