Union Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Sarbananda Sonowal, held a joint review meeting with Maharashtra's Deputy Chief Minister, Devendra Fadnavis, to discuss various projects related to ports and the shipping sector in Maharashtra under the Sagarmala programme.
The meeting also focused upon matters related to Vadhavan Port in Palghar and the Mumbai Port.
Additionally, it included the setting-up of Maharashtra coastal state pavilion at National Maritime Heritage Complex, Lothal.
For the project, an area of 14,000 sq ft with a construction area of 6,000-8,000 sq ft has been identified in the state.
During the review, Sonowal emphasised the need to expedite the completion of 14 Sagarmala projects that have been delayed for almost a year in Maharashtra, reports Business Standard.
He expressed, "By prioritising these action points, we can significantly contribute to the successful completion of the Sagarmala projects in Maharashtra, fostering economic growth and enhancing maritime infrastructure in the region."
The Deputy CM committed to resolve the various issues and expedite the implementation of the projects at the earliest.
Maritime Development In Maharashtra
In 2015, the Indian Government approved the Sagarmala project to facilitate port-led development in the country. The project aims to harness the 7,500-km-long coastline of the country to its full economic potential.
The project's objective is to improve the transportation infrastructure at ports for efficient, quick, and cost-effective movement of resources.
The state of Maharashtra has a long coastline spanning around 720 km, that has numerous established trade and commercial operations.
Under the Sagarmala project, there are 126 projects being implemented with an estimate cost of Rs 113,285 crore in the state.
Out of the total projects, 46 projects worth Rs 2,333 crore are partially funded by the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways (MoPSW). Out of these, 37 projects worth Rs 1,387 crore are under Maharashtra State Government, as per Times of India report.
According tot he review, around nine projects worth Rs 279 crore have been completed while 18 projects worth Rs 777 crore are under implementation, and 10 projects worth Rs 331 crore are under development stage.
Discussions were also conducted regarding the relaxation of Value Added Tax (VAT) for bunker fuels used in RoRo/RoPax/Passenger Ferry Operations in Maharashtra.
Currently, this VAT constitutes more than 20 percent of the total fuel expenses incurred in ferry operations.
Additionally, the minsters also discussed the progress of the Vadhavan Port.
The port possesses natural depths exceeding 18 m, which would facilitate the docking of ultra-large container and cargo ships at the port.
This development aims to enhance India's appeal as a significant hub for major shipping lines and provide the necessary capacity to accommodate the anticipated growth in cargo volume within the hinterland served by the port.
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