Inaugurating ‘Maritime India Summit 2021’ through video conferencing, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today invited the world to come to India and be a part of the nation’s growth trajectory. He said that India is very serious about growing in the maritime sector and is emerging as a leading Blue Economy of the world. He added that the country aims to strengthen the vision of Aatamnirbhar Bharat concentrating on the up-gradation of infrastructure and boosting the reform journey.
The Prime Minister noted that the capacity of major Indian ports has increased from 870 million tonnes in 2014 to 1550 million tonnes now. Indian ports now boast of measures like Direct port Delivery, Direct Port Entry and an upgraded Port Community System (PCS).
PM Modi said that our ports have reduced waiting time for inbound and outbound cargo and mega ports with world-class infrastructure are being developed in Maharashtra’s Wadhavan, Odisha’s Paradip and Deendayal Port in Gujarat’s Kandla.
India aims at operationalising 23 waterways by 2030: PM Modi
The Prime Minister asserted that his government is making unprecedented investments in waterways as domestic waterways are cost-effective and environment-friendly for transportation of freight, and the government aims at making 23 waterways operational by 2030.
PM Modi also pointed out that India has as many as 189 lighthouses across its vast coastline and the government has drawn up a programme for developing tourism in the land adjacent to 78 lighthouses. The key objective of this initiative is to develop the existing lighthouses and the areas surrounding them into unique maritime tourism landmarks.
He announced that steps are also being taken to introduce urban water transport systems in key states and cities such as Kochi, Mumbai, Gujarat and Goa.
400 projects have total investment potential of Rs 2.25 lakh crores: PM
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the government has recently widened the ambit of the maritime sector by renaming the Ministry of Shipping as Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways so that the projects progress in a holistic manner. He said that the government is also focusing on the domestic shipbuilding and ship repair market and to encourage them approval has been given to the Shipbuilding Financial Assistance Policy.
PM Modi said that ‘Maritime India Vision 2030’ outlines the priorities of the government and the Ministry of Port Shipping and Waterways has created a list of 400 projects with an investment potential of around Rs 2.25 lakh crores.
PM Modi launches Sagar-Manthan
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also launched Sagar Manthan – Mercantile Marine Domain Awareness Centre – today. This is an information system for enhancing maritime safety, search and rescue capabilities, security and marine environment protection.
PM Modi emphasised the need to promote the use of renewable energy in the maritime sector. He said the government is in the process of installing solar and wind-based power systems at all the major ports across the country and aims to increase usage of renewable energy to more than 60% of total energy by 2030 in three phases across Indian ports.
The Prime Minister concluded the session with an appeal to the global investors, “India’s long coastline awaits you. India’s hardworking people await you. Invest in our ports. Invest in our people. Let India be your preferred trade destination. Let Indian ports be your port of call for trade and commerce.”