Port Wings News Network:
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 31 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). Out of the 47 projects, 23 projects worth Rs 1075.61 crore have been sanctioned for total financial assistance of Rs 390.42 crore and Rs 230.01 crore has been released to Major Ports, State Maritime Boards and State Governments. The remaining 24 projects are under various stages of development and process of approval.
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. Rs 25 crore were sanctioned for construction of coastal berth (270m x 30m) at JNPT . Rs 114.4 crore were sanctioned for Karnataka Government for extension of the existing Southern breakwater by 145 metres, construction of a new North breakwater of 1160 metres, construction of coastal berths at Karwar port and construction of coastal berth an capital dredging at 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 admissible financial assistance from Central Government is 50% of the total cost of the project subject to: (i) a maximum of Rs 25 crore for projects relating to construction/up-gradation of coastal berths by Major/Non-Major Ports, (ii) a maximum of Rs 10 crore for construction of platforms/jetties for hovercrafts & seaplanes by Ports/State Governments & passenger jetties in National Waterways and islands by State Governments, (iii) a maximum of Rs 15 crore for mechanization of berths by Major/Non-Major Ports (iv) a maximum of Rs 50 crore for capital dredging of Major Ports/operational Non-Major Ports ; and (v) a maximum of Rs 50 crore for construction of breakwater for existing and Greenfield Ports. 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.