Union Minister Sonowal launches ‘Sagar Aankalan’ guidelines to elevate Indian port efficiency

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Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal launched the ‘Sagar Aankalan’ guidelines for the Indian Port Performance Index on Friday, with the aim of elevating the efficiency and competitiveness of Indian ports. The Union shipping ministry has also outlined an action plan to accelerate the implementation of agreements made during the Global Maritime India Summit 2023.

Under the ‘Sagar Aankalan’ guidelines, National Benchmarking of Indian Ports’ Performance will be applied to all seaports across India, focusing on enhancing their efficiency and competitiveness. During a meeting with Union Minister of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal, port representatives provided updates on the progress of Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) signed at the Global Maritime India Summit 2023 (GMIS 2023).

At GMIS 2023, a significant milestone was achieved with the signing of 360 MoUs, reflecting an investment commitment of Rs 8.35 lakh crore. Additionally, investible projects valued at Rs 1.68 lakh crore were unveiled.

The development of Vadhavan Port, a collaborative effort between Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) and the Maharashtra Maritime Board, has received clearance from the Union Environment Ministry. The project, estimated at Rs 76,220 crore, is expected to gain cabinet approval soon.

Despite facing opposition from local residents, farmers, and fishermen, the Vadhavan port benefits from natural depth, proximity to inland clusters, and upcoming dedicated freight corridors, reducing maintenance costs.

With suitability for larger container vessels and sophisticated cargo handling systems to minimize environmental impact, the project will be executed in two phases by Vadhavan Port Project—a joint venture between JNPA holding a 74 percent stake and the Maharashtra Maritime Board holding a 26 percent stake.

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