“Presently, Ministry of Shipping and Ministry of External Affairs are in talks with Bangladesh government to explore options in Bangladesh to develop a port. Bangladesh government has been showing interest about it and is keen to work with us,” said the Union Road Transport and Highways and Shipping Minister, but declined to give the details.
India recently concluded the Chabahar port development agreement with Iran. He described the agreement as a ‘game changer’. “Gas is cheaper in Iran, while in our country we have a shortage of gas. The proposed Chabahar port will give direct access for Indian goods to the markets in Afghanistan, Central Asia and Eastern Europe, bypassing Pakistan,” he said.
Gadkari said that new greenfield ports will be set up at Wadhawan, near Dahanu in Maharashtra, Colachel near Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu and Sagar Island in West Bengal.
“In Sagarmala project, there will be an investment of Rs 12 lakh crore. Rs 4 lakh crore investment will come in port-led rail and road connectivity and mechanisation of coal. 27 industrial clusters which will be coming up will entail Rs 8 lakh crore investments,” he said.
“We set a target to create four crore jobs with an investment of Rs 25 lakh crore to roads and shipping sectors,” he said.
The country is focusing on port-led development. “Currently, logistics costs in India is about 18 percent, while it is in 8 percent in China, 10-12 percent in Europe. Our focus is to bring down to the logistic cost to 12 percent by developing coastal shipping and inland waterways,” he added.