Palaj, Gandhinagar: Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar (IITGN) hosted the fourth Dr A N Khosla lecture organised today by IIT Roorkee Alumni Association Ahmedabad Chapter (IITRAAA). Shri Dilip Kumar Gupta, MD, Sagarmala Development Company Limited (SDCL) and Director Projects, delivered a lecture on ‘Vision of Sagarmala and the Role of SDCL’. Dr Gupta explained various aspects of the ambitious Sagarmala Programme of Government of India, which aims to promote port-led development in the country. It envisions to reduce logistics cost for cargo with enhanced infrastructure investment.
Speaking on the vision and objectives of Sagarmala Programme Shri Dilip Kumar Gupta elucidated that the project which envisaged total investment of over Rs. 8 lakh crores will not only reduce logistics cost for both EXIM (Export-Import) and domestic trade but will also create jobs and bridge skill gap in the ports and maritime sector. “From civil engineering and mechanical engineering point of view, port engineering has a huge potential for job creation. More ports are being constructed which means more jobs are underway”, he said.
Highlighting the four pillars of Sagarmala Programme for port-led development, i.e. 1) Port Modernisation, 2) Port Connectivity, 3) Port-led industrialisation, and 4) Coastal community development, Mr Dilip Kumar Gupta said, “Port connectivity to our existing Indian railways, national highways is very important, which are atleast around 5 kilometres from the port or even more than that. We took up this major challenge to make a straight railway line from the port and connect with the Indian railway network immediately wherever it is possible, to save national resources. We are also taking care to provide education, employment and skill development training to the coastal communities.”
Informing about the port sector capacity and utilisation, Shri Gupta added that “Total traffic/cargo handled in 2018-19 is 1275 MTPA. A roadmap has been created for increasing Indian port capacity to more than 3300 MTPA to cater to the projected traffic of 2500 MTPA by 2025.” SDCL is also working to provide fishing harbours to the fishermen to secure and increase their income. It is also working to further develop cruise tourism. Shri Dilip Kumar Gupta also talked about the growth of coastal shipping which registered an impressive growth of 14.3% in 2018-19 on year on year basis.
Talking about the potential of coastal shipping and inland waterways in India, Dr Gupta said, “Modal shift to waterways will reduce the cost of transportation as well as environmental impact of logistics. SDCL is working in the role of an aggregator to provide such facilities to encourage companies to use it. Ultimately it will reduce logistics cost and the benefit can be passed on to the customer in terms of reduced prices.” Shri Dilip Kumar Gupta was also felicitated by IITRAAA members. Mr. Deepak Mathur briefed about IITRAA activities, Dr. Ram Rajak coordinated the programme and Mr. Hemanshu Thusiar delivered the Vote of Thanks.
Shri Dilip Kumar Gupta has more than 25 years of experience in the field of project appraisal, project development, structuring, and execution. A Civil Engineer from IIT Roorkee and M.Tech in Water Resources from IIT Delhi, Shri Gupta is known for managing projects from concept to completion with timely and flawless delivery. He has also worked on deputation to Indian Foreign Services (IFS) and was responsible for around 300+ projects during his short duration of 3 years as First Secretary (Economic Cooperation) at Indian Embassy, Kathmandu. He joined Sagarmala Development Company Ltd (SDCL) as Managing Director & Director (Projects) in July 2018.