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Indian Railways is all set to provide a Rs 20,000 crore connectivity to boost to ports under the Sagarmala programme! Suresh Prabhu-led Ministry of Railways will take up 21 port-rail connectivity projects as identified under the port-connectivity enhancement objective of Sagarmala.

These projects are aimed at strengthening the rail evacuation network and the last mile connectivity to the ports. In addition, another six projects are being considered by the Indian Port Rail Corporation Limited (IPRCL).

Sagarmala project aims to achieve capacity expansion and modernization of sea-ports along India’s coastline, enhance port connectivity to the hinterland, facilitate port led- industrialization to promote trade and sustainable development of coastal communities.

The Indian Port Rail Corporation Limited (IPRCL), which has been incorporated by the Ministry of Shipping, would take up the projects. IPRCL has already awarded 3 port connectivity projects for Vishakhapatnam and Chennai ports for quick evacuation of cargo, and another 19 projects are in the pipeline.

The National Perspective Plan for Sagarmala has more than 150 which are aimed at mobilising investment of more than Rs 4 lakh crore and generate approximately 1 crore new jobs. According to the Ministry of Shipping, these projects are expected to generate annual logistics cost savings of close to Rs 35,000 crore and provide boost to India’s merchandise exports by $110 billion by 2025.

Incidentally, India has jumped 19 places in the latest World Bank ranking in the global logistics performance. The World Bank in its latest once-in-two-year Logistics Performance Index (LPI) said India is now ranked 35th as against the 54th spot it occupied in the previous 2014 report.