India is very serious about growing in the maritime sector and emerging as a leading Blue Economy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said recently. He added that the country would operationalise 23 waterways by 2030. The Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways had created a list of 400 projects with a potential of ₹2.25 lakh crore investments.
The Prime Minister was inaugurating the Maritime India Summit 2021 through videoconferencing, said a press release from Press Information Bureau.
Minister of Transport of Denmark Benny Englebrecht, Chief Ministers of Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh, Union Ministers Dharmendra Pradhan and Mansukh Mandaviya were present on the occasion, the release said.
The Prime Minister invited the world to come to India and be part of the country’s growth trajectory. Through the focus areas of upgradation of infrastructure, India aims to strengthen the vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat, he said.
He noted that instead of a piecemeal approach, focus is on the entire sector as one. He informed that the capacity of major ports had increased from 870 million tonnes in 2014 to 1,550 million tonnes now.
Indian ports now have measures such as direct port delivery, direct port entry, and an upgraded port community system for easy data flow. Ports have reduced waiting time for inbound and outbound cargo. He also informed that mega ports with world-class infrastructure were being developed in Vadhavan, Paradip, and Kandla.
The Prime Minister said, “Ours is a government that is investing in waterways in a way that was never seen before. Domestic waterways are found to be cost-effective and environment-friendly ways of transporting freight.”
He also pointed out that India had as many as 189 lighthouses along its vast coastline. “We have drawn up a programme for developing tourism in the land adjacent to 78 lighthouses. The key objective of this initiative is to enhance development of the existing lighthouses and their surrounding areas into unique maritime tourism landmarks.”
He announced that steps were also being taken to introduce urban water transport systems in key States and cities such as Kochi, Mumbai, Gujarat, and Goa.
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