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Nitin Gadkari to chair Sagarmala apex committee meet on Monday

Nitin Gadkari to chair Sagarmala apex committee meet on Monday

NEW DELHI: The maiden meeting tomorrow of the apex body of Sagarmala, an ambitious port-led development project along India’s 7,500 km coastline, will be chaired by Union Minister Nitin Gadkari.

“The first meeting of the National Sagarmala Apex Committee (NSAC) will be held on October 5, 2015 in New Delhi. The meeting will be chaired by Union Minister of Shipping and Road Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari,” an official statement said here.

Sagarmala is an initiative that aims at promoting “port- led development” along India’s 7,500-km long coastline, with the Shipping Ministry as the nodal ministry.

“The members of the NSAC include Vice Chairman NITI Aayog and Chief Ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Odisha, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal,” the statement said.

The members also include Union Cabinet Ministers of Finance; Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation; Urban Development; Railways; Agriculture; Rural Development; Civil Aviation; Skill Development & Entrepreneurship; Environment, Forests & Climate Change; Commerce and Industry; Tourism while Secretary, Shipping is Member Convener.

The broad agenda of meeting includes discussions on constitution and scope of NSAC, Concept of Sagarmala and government decisions on it, action taken on setting up of Sagarmala Institutional Mechanism and role of the Centre as well as states in project identification and implementation.

“The prime objective of the Sagarmala project is to promote port-led direct and indirect development and to provide infrastructure to transport goods to and from ports quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively,” the statement said.

The project aims at providing for an institutional framework for ensuring integrated development, including modernisation and setting up of new ports, and efficient evacuation to and from hinterland.

The government recently discussed potential for developing a world-class transshipment port in India and promoting the usage of coastal shipping and inland waterways for transporting key commodities like coal, iron ore, foodgrains and petroleum products recently.

Cabinet in March had given ‘in-principle’ nod to the project, aimed at port-led development in coastal states.

Funds required in 2015-16 for implementation of projects in the initial phase of Sagarmala is pegged at Rs 692 crore.

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