18th Maritime State Development Council Meeting

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    Recently, the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways (MoPSW) has organised the 18th meeting of the Maritime State Development Council (MSDC).

     

    Major Highlights

    • The meeting discussed significant issues pertaining to the overall progress of the maritime sector and agreed that the Central and State Governments will jointly work on the development of the maritime sector including several non-functional ports.
    • The key items discussed during the meeting were Indian Port Bill 2021, National Maritime Heritage Museum (NMHC), Rail and Road Connectivity with Ports, Floating Jetties for Marine Operations and SeaPlane Operations, Sagarmala Projects and National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) projects.
    • Indian Port Bill 2021
      • In Fiscal Year (FY) 2020, the traffic handled at Indian ports was about 1.2 billion MT, which is expected to increase to 2.5 billion MT by 2030.
      • Only a few ports in India are having deeper drafts that can handle capsize vessels. In addition, there are around 100 non-functional ports distributed across the coast of India.
      • The increasing ship-size mandates to have deeper draft ports and mega ports need to be developed. Similarly, the non-functional ports also need to be prioritized and developed.
      • The need for the Bill was stressed in the meeting as it would facilitate optimum management and utilization of the coastline by way of participation by both the Union Government and Maritime States/Union Territories.
      • A national-level integrated approach is required to augment the existing ports or to develop new ports in an efficient and sustainable manner which in turn will reduce the freight costs to a greater extent and improve the trade growth.
        • The port planning is also highlighted in various reports including the World Bank’s Port Reform book, UNCTAD’s Handbook for Planners in Developing Countries etc.
      • In addition, several conventions pertaining to safety, security and prevention of pollution are incorporated in the Bill for implementation of all requirements stipulated in such conventions by all ports.
      • MSDC will advise on the planning of all ports including major ports and the MoPSW has welcomed suggestions from the states to develop a comprehensive port bill.
    • National Maritime Heritage Museum
      • It is to be developed as a world-class museum dedicated to the legacy of Maritime Heritage of India, in an area of about 350 acres at Lothal, Gujarat.
      • India’s first maritime heritage complex would be developed as an international tourist destination with a maritime museum, lighthouse museum, maritime theme parks, amusement parks, etc.
      • It would have a pavilion for each coastal State and Union Territory to showcase their specific maritime heritage.
    • Rail and Road connectivity with Ports
      • The up-gradation of port connectivity is one of the critical enablers for ports, and MoPSW through its key initiative Sagarmala Programme emphasizes port connectivity.
      • MoPSW has taken up 98 port-road connectivity projects worth Rs. 45,051 crore with various implementation agencies like the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH), major ports, maritime boards and State Road Development Companies.
      • Similarly, 91 port-rail connectivity projects worth Rs. 75,213 crore have been taken up by MoPSW with Indian Railways, major ports and maritime boards.
      • To address the issues in funding and for the projects that are not suitable to develop under Public-Private Partnership (PPP) mode, it is suggested that a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) may be formed.
    • Floating Jetties for Marine Operations and Seaplane Operations
      • These are docks that float on the water and can be partially submerged to permit entry of a ship and raised to keep the ship high and dry.
      • These are widely used in other countries as they have unique advantages in comparison with the convention jetties, like cost-effectiveness, speedy construction, minimal environmental impact, flexibility to expand and relocate, suitable for the locations with high tidal variation etc.
      • National Technology Centre for Ports, Waterways and Coasts (NTCPWC), IIT Madras was given the mandate to prepare the Detailed Project Report for developing more than 150 floating jetties across Indian coastline and the work is in progress.
      • It is proposed to utilise the floating jetties majorly for fishing harbours/fish landing centers and seaplane operations.
      • The MoPSW informed that the States/UTs are encouraged to explore using floating jetties/platforms for their project and are also requested to identify more locations for developing them.
    • Sagarmala Project and National Infrastructure Pipeline Projects
      • The MoPSW has various infrastructure projects going on under the Sagarmala and NIP.
      • The MoPSW has proposed to develop 802 projects worth an investment of Rs. 5.53 lakh crore for implementation under the Sagarmala Programme.
      • Similarly, MoPSW is handling 123 projects amounting to Rs. 1.28 lakh crore under NIP initiated in 2020.
      • The coastal States/UTs have been requested to expedite implementation of the projects and funding support can be considered for central funding via grants from MoPSW or via equity funding through Sagarmala Development Company Ltd (SDCL).

     

    Maritime State Development Council

    • He further said that the development of the country depends on the development of the states and MSDC is the best example of cooperative federalism.
    • It is an apex advisory body for the development of the maritime sector.
    • It was constituted in May 1997 to assess the development of ports either directly or through captive users and private participation.
    • Aims
      • To develop a national plan for the development of the maritime sector beneficial for both States and the Centre.
      • To adopt best practices for the sector and ensure integrated development of major and non-major ports.
      • To assess the requirements of other infrastructure requirements like roads, rail, etc. and make suitable recommendations to the concerned Ministers.
    • It monitors the development of minor ports, captive ports and private ports in the maritime States.

     

    Sagarmala Programme

    • The port-led development framework was approved in 2015 to increase the nation’s cargo traffic three-fold.
    • Aims
      • Holistic port infrastructure development along the 7,516-km long coastline through modernisation, mechanisation and computerisation.
      • Reduce logistics cost for export-import and domestic trade with minimal infrastructure investment.
    • Major Components
      • Port Modernization and New Port Development
      • Port Connectivity Enhancement
      • Port-linked Industrialization
      • Coastal Community Development
    • It includes the establishment of rail/road linkages with the port terminals, thus providing last-mile connectivity to ports, development of linkages with new regions, enhanced multi-modal connectivity including rail, inland water, coastal and road services.

     

    National Infrastructure Pipeline

    • It is a first-of-its-kind government exercise to pave the way for world-class infrastructure across the nation.
    • Aims
      • Improve the quality of life of the citizens in the country.
      • Attract investments from both foreign and domestic players.
    • The Rs. 102 lakh crore project has set a target of making India a 5 trillion USD economy by 2025.
    • The NIP project database would be made available on the India Investment Grid (IIG) and all the prospective investors will be able to access updated project-level information on the grid.

     

    Source: PIB