News Details

National Maritime Plan/Gati Shakti 

Mumbai Port’s future plans for transforming the logistics sector in Mumbai through multimodal connectivity


—Rajiv Jalota, IAS, Chairman, Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT)


Ports are gateways to countries’ trade and economy. Bringing down logistics costs is an important objective of the Government of India and this propels the government to formulate schemes for continuously finding ways to lower the transaction and logistics costs for goods and undertake various projects, especially by harnessing the maritime assets and resources of the country. Various pathbreaking schemes and ambitious projects have been unleashed by the honorable PM in recent years in the form of Sagarmala and Maritime India Vision 2021, integrating the diverse logistics activities to make India a maritime powerhouse.

The Government of India is now launching an ambitious plan - National Maritime Plan/Gati Shakti - at the hands of the honorable Prime Minister of India on October 13, 2021.  Being a premier port of India for nearly 150 years, Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) held a leadership position by continuously undergoing transformation in its shape, facilities, technology etc. by adapting to the changing needs of ships and cargoes. Even JNPT, which was initially planned as a satellite port of Mumbai Port Trust, itself became one of the top 30 container ports of the world.

With a large megapolis surrounding Mumbai Port from all sides, there     is an inevitable conflict between the port’s cargo business and the city’s needs vis-à-vis congestion constraints. In an effort to achieve the vision of the honorable Prime Minister of India, to reach the benefits to the common man, Mumbai Port Trust set the goal of seeking harmony between the needs of the cargoes and ships on one hand, with the needs of the city and citizenry.  A slew of projects promoting multimodal connectivity have been undertaken in Mumbai Port towards the objective of reducing congestion in Mumbai city and to promote trade and tourism for the country’s overall development. 

Multimodal connectivity in the Master Plan has two distinct characteristics for ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ (self-reliant India, viz.: A) Cargo related projects and B) Sea tourism related projects. 

* Cargo related: Main projects are as follows:

(i) Expanding POL capacity:  The biggest crude oil jetty with capacity of 22 million tonnes per annum has been constructed at Marine Oil Terminal with pipeline connectivity for evacuation. This project released other four jetties for more coastal traffic of POL.
(ii) Bunkering terminal: In layman’s terms, it is a petrol pump for ships. This project takes advantage of the over 5,000 ships visiting the Mumbai Harbour annually, utilising pipeline connectivity for evacuation.

(iii) Facility for LNG handing: This project shall provide LNG as clean energy up to 5 million tonnes per annum without creating stress on landside facilities as the floating terminal would be in sea and evacuation of LNG would be through pipeline connectivity to National Grid.

(iv) Barging of containers between JNPT and Mumbai: This project is for getting more containers from JNPT through waterway connectivity, by covering only a distance of 14 km, thereby eliminating a long road journey of 120 km and the resultant pollution and road congestion

(v) Coastal facilities

(a) Berth No. 10, 11 of Indira Dock along with a shed are exclusively reserved for handling of coastal cargo.

(b) Erection of temporary silos for the bulk commodities of cement fly ash on MbPT land by private parties. EOI already invited.

(vi) Most importantly, to improve rail connectivity to the dedicated rail freight corridor to Delhi, Mumbai Port is reworking on its rail assets on two fronts. On the one hand, it plans to reorganise and upgrade the railway network and operations by handing over the rail assets to a purpose-built (dedicated) government company, Indian Port Railway & Ropeway Company Ltd, and on the other hand to create a new rail line by venturing out of the port’s limit to lay a dedicated line for port freight movement from Wadala to Kurla. This will relieve the suburban harbour line, benefitting commuters.

* Sea tourism related: Main projects:

(i) International Cruise Terminal (ICT): The most important and ambitious project for cruise tourism, not only for Mumbai but for India, is the Mumbai International Cruise Terminal, which is under development at Ballard Pier extension berth at an estimated cost of Rs 500 crore. This terminal shall not only be used for cruise ships, but also by the city folk as it will have retail outlets, restaurants, leisure areas and many more facilities.

(ii) 1 km long Mumbai Port Waterfront at Prince’s & Victoria Dock Wall: This integrated water transport hub shall have all modern requirements for the leisure and commuting of city folk. This facility includes a Ro-Pax Terminal and will have seaside restaurants, Amphitheatre, Domestic Cruise Terminal, marina, floating restaurants, harbour cruises, water taxis, etc.

Ro-Pax Terminal: It is a perfect example of harnessing waterways for commuting/tourist movements and reducing road traffic. Ro-Pax services between Mumbai and Mandwa open up a new commuter/tourist transportation mode connecting these two important nodes. This will be extended to connect to Navi Mumbai’s new upcoming airport. Ro-Pax ships bring huge relief to travellers, combining multimodal transportation of road and waterways.

(iii)    Ropeway between Sewree and Elephanta:   The   world’s longest ropeway over the sea, of approx. 8 km, shall be built in PPP mode costing about Rs 700 crore. This project will open up a new travel   mode for the city’s population, besides giving beautiful view of marine facilities like ships, Marine Oil Terminal and the upcoming MTHL, with flamingoes, etc.