Cash crunch hits Sagarmala project


The ambitious Sagarmala project, which is expected to transform Andhra Pradesh as logistics hub and trigger significant economic growth, has failed to take off in the State due to severe financial constraints.

The project has reached a standstill as the State government has not even prepared Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the proposed projects to submit to Ministry of Shipping till now.

The government has also communicated to the Centre that it would not bear the 50 per cent cost of the project.

Officials say severe funds crunch hit the project as crores of rupees are required to prepare the DPRs. “The State government has already requested the Ministry of Shipping (MoS) to take up the activity of DPR preparation for Sagarmala Projects due to shortage of funds,” said a senior officer of AP Ports department. Agencies collect 3 to 5 per cent over the project cost to prepare the DPRs, he said.

The State, which has second largest coastline of 974 km, initially identified 90 projects under the Sagarmala programme with an outlay of Rs 1,30,762 crore in 2016. Later, the MoS sent a list of 106 projects to the state. After taking inputs from the nodal departments, 48 projects are proposed for implementation by the State government in February 2017. Out of which, eight priority projects have been identified for immediate implementation.

The projects comprised different aspects of Sagarmala programme including port modernisation, port connectivity, port led industrialisation and coastal community development.

Most importantly, the State government is not ready to bear its share of funding to projects. Recently, the State government communicated to the Centre that it was unable to bear 50 per cent cost of the project due to poor financial health of the state.

“Therefore, the projects are unable to take off in the desired manner and speed. For State government to actualise the potential of its vast and resource rich coastline, it is submitted to the Centre or MoS may please consider funding a significantly higher share of equity towards the project costs,” the government said.  “But the Centre has not responded over the request of AP till now on increase its share of equity,” he said.

However, Director of Ports Koya Praveen told The Hans India that they were taking measures to prepare DPRs for the proposed projects. “Government departments such as tourism, fisheries, R&B, ports and NHAI were given instructions about preparation of DPRs from Chief Secretary Dinesh Kumar in a recent meeting,” he said.Superintending engineer (Marine) Raghavara Rao said some of the 48 projects may be removed from the proposals to avoid duplication of projects.

According to sources, the DPRs have been prepared only for two of eight priority projects that have been identified for “immediate implementation.” The State government requested the Centre to fix up agencies for preparation of DPR of these priority projects too.  Some of the priority projects are four laning of Kakinada Anchorage Port-Uppada beach road on NH-16 in East Godavari with a cost of Rs 980 crore and four-lane beach road connecting Gangavaram Port to SEZ proposed at Atchuthapuram in Visakhapatnam district with a cost of Rs 500 crore. The other projects are related to modernisation of port infrastructure, development of coastal community and other infrastructure works.

Source : The Hans India

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