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November 30, 2023

India’s Shipping and Port Infrastructure Upgrades to Get Fast-Tracked

Under a significant push by the federal government, planned improvements to India’s shipping and port infrastructure worth an estimated INR 2 trillion (US$2.45 billion) will be given priority for completion. The majority of projects are prioritized for the ports at Paradip, Visakhapatnam, and Kolkata.

Critical infrastructure deficiencies in the nation’s port connectivity were discovered earlier this month during the PM GatiShakti National Master Plan’s progress review. In order to facilitate the smooth movement of people, products, and services throughout India, the PM GatiShakti National Master Plan seeks to establish systematic multimodal connectivity to various economic zones. Reduced travel times and increased industrial production will result from the Master Plan’s increased interconnectedness between roads, rails, air, and waterways.

There are 101 GatiShakti projects totaling INR 626.27 billion (US$7.67 billion) that must be finished by 2024, 13 of which are receiving financial help from the Sagarmala scheme for the development of port connections.

Therefore, the 191 projects included in the Sagarmala plan are supplemented by the infrastructure projects funded by GatiShakti. 63 minor ports, 13 major ports (including the Vadhavan port, which is now being built), 11 multimodal terminals, and river ports are among the projects that are being considered.

In addition, the government has selected 81 public-private partnership (PPP) projects costing INR 423 billion (US$5.18 billion) to develop berths and terminals across key ports through 2024–2025, according to Minister of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal. The shipping ministry is also identifying new rail projects, upgraded roadways, and new road alignments to manage freight traffic.

All of this is related to the National Logistics Policy (NLP), which aims to increase the country’s trade competitiveness and establish a single-window e-logistics market. To attain the ideal multimodal transport mix, inland rivers’ capacity for freight transit and coastal shipping must be developed.

In the meantime, the National Monetization Program has identified assets from nine significant ports for monetization between FY 2022 and FY 2025. In addition, a monthly action plan will be developed to monitor the progress of projects for connecting roads and highways that have not yet been granted. The National Highways Authority of India, National Highways & Infrastructure Development Corp, and the Border Roads Organization are responsible for putting 235 projects that have been identified and requested by the ministries of steel, fertilizers, ports, shipping & waterways, and defence into action. In order to issue pending project approvals, the government wants to do so between December 2022 and March 2023.

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