The Sagar Mala project which was proposed by Prime Minister while in Goa could prove to be one of the biggest game changers for India as port modernization, and development, and connecting them through raid, roal and air would definitely give India an edge, and bring a vibrancy to the coastal cities which have been losing out because India has been lagging behind in coastal trade within the country, and outside it.
The BJP government led by Modi plans to build world class ports, modernize the existing ones, and also corporatize their functioning so that these become self-sustaining, profitable bodies rather than a drag on the economy. The Sagar Mala project could also prove to be a strategic asset as it will counter the String of Pearls strategy of our arch rival China which in the last one decade has expanded in Indian Ocean with ports in Karachi, and in Srilanka as well. The project will also help in creating of millions of job as India expands its maritime infrastructure, and this could bring in more trade and augment ship building capabilities. This project will also increase in a comprehensive manner the maritime capabilities of the country, and help us in consolidating the geographical advantage that this nation has been bestowed in the Indian Ocean.
Under this project, which was conceived by PM Vajpayee, the government is planning to create world class container trans-shipment port, upgrade the Jawahar Lal Nehru port, and the Chennai port. The goal is to ensure that mainline vessels can call at Indian ports for faster movement of Indian cargo. All major ports are also planned to be connected with the Golden Quadrilateral highway network through expressways. The rail connectivity will also be boosted, and new projects under FDI will be introduced. The government also plans to involve the private sector in the port-led growth which is the mantra of the Modi government. Ennore port which has been renamed as Kamarajar Port about 50 kilometers from Chennai port is run by a private consortium which has brought more efficiency in handling the cargo. It is a port which is being specialized for energy products, and the speed with which coal and other raw material is handled is outstanding.
Ennore in fact is the first corporatized Major Port in the Country; it is designed to be developed as Asia’s Energy Port, and witnesses round the clock operations. It also has a vast Back-up Land
and comprises of Modern Navigational Facilities, and efficient Logistics Systems. Till six months back, this place was like back of beyond and is now connected to Chennai by a four lane expressway. Experts say that all ports in India need to be developed on the lines of this port to ensure that India become a strong maritime power.