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Mansukh Mandaviya discusses rail, road connectivity to ports at MSDC meet

June 25, 2021: Union minister for port, shipping and waterways Mansukh Mandaviya chaired the 18th meeting of the Maritime State Development Council (MSDC) through a video conference and the key items discussed include Indian Port bill 2021, rail and road connectivity with ports, Sagarmala projects and National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) projects

The MSDC was constituted in May 1997 to assess in consultation with state governments, the future development of existing and new minor ports by the respective maritime states either directly or through captive users and private participation.
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The MSDC was constituted in May 1997 to assess in consultation with state governments, the future development of existing and new minor ports by the respective maritime states either directly or through captive users and private participation.

June 25, 2021: Union minister for port, shipping and waterways Mansukh Mandaviya chaired the 18th meeting of the Maritime State Development Council (MSDC) through a video conference and the key items discussed include Indian Port bill 2021, rail and road connectivity with ports, Sagarmala projects and National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) projects.

MSDC
MSDC is an apex advisory body for the development of the maritime sector and aims to ensure the integrated development of major and non-major ports. The MSDC was constituted in May 1997 to assess in consultation with state governments, the future development of existing and new minor ports by the respective maritime states either directly or through captive users and private participation.

Addressing the council, Mansukh Mandaviya said that the objective of the Maritime State Development Council (MSDC) is to develop a national plan for the development of the maritime sector beneficial for both states and the centre and to adopt the best practices for the sector.

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. "In a scattered way we can't develop, united we can achieve", the Minister added.

Stressing on the need for the Indian Port Bill 2021, the minister requested state governments to see the Indian Port Bill as a development issue and not as a political issue.

He highlighted that the Indian Port Bill 2021 will facilitate to have optimum management and utilization of the coastline by way of participation by both the union government and maritime states/union territories.

Indian Port Bill 2021
In FY 2020, the traffic handled at Indian ports is about 1.2 billion MT, which is expected to increase to 2.5 billion MT by 2030. On the other hand, only a few ports in India are having deeper draft which can handle capsize vessels. In addition, there are around 100 non-functional ports distributed across the coast of India. The ever-increasing size of ships mandates to have deeper draft ports and indeed mega ports need to be developed. Similarly, the non-functional ports also need to be prioritized and developed.

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 national-level integrated port planning is also highlighted in various report including 'The World Bank's Port Reform book, UNCTAD's ‘Handbook for Planners in Developing Countries’ etc.

MSDC will advise on the planning of all ports including Major Ports. In addition, several conventions pertaining to safety, security and prevention of pollution are incorporated in IP Bill 2021 for implementation of all requirements stipulated in such conventions by all ports.

Port connectivity
The upgradation 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 ₹45,051 crore with various implementation agencies like MoRTH, major ports, maritime boards, and state road development companies, of which 13 projects are completed and 85 projects are in various stages of development and implementation. Similarly, 91 port-rail connectivity projects worth ₹75,213 crore have been taken up by MoPSW with Indian Railways, major ports, and maritime boards, of which 28 projects are completed and 63 projects are in various stages of development and implementation.

To address the issues in funding and for the projects that are not suitable to develop under PPP mode, it is suggested that a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) may be formed between state government, central government and private players for which interest from the state governments/UTs is requested during the meeting.

Sagarmala Programme, National Infrastructure Pipeline
The MoPSW has various infrastructure projects that are undertaken under Sagarmala Programme and National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP).

The MoPSW proposed to develop 802 projects worth an investment of ₹5.53 lakh crore for implementation under the Sagarmala Programme. Out of which, 168 projects worth ₹87,000 crore have been completed and 242 projects worth ₹2.18 lakh crore are under implementation. Similarly, MoPSW is handling 123 projects amounting to ₹1.28 lakh crore under NIP initiated in 2020. In addition, there are 1226 projects under Sagartat Samriddhi Yojana for coast led prosperity, out of which 192 projects are under implementation.

The MoPSW requested the coastal states/UTs to expedite the implementation of the projects where the state government is the implementation agency, and funding support can be considered for central funding via grants from MoPSW or via equity funding through Sagarmala Development Company (SDCL).

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