Modi says capacity of ports being increased, new ports being constructed
New Delhi, November 8, 2020
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said the capacity of ports across the country had been increased across the nation and construction of new ports was also going on at a fast pace and pointed out that the maritime sector had emerged as an important part of "AtmaNirbhar Bharat" (Self-reliant India).
Speaking after inaugurating the Ro-Pax terminal at Hazira and flagging off the Ro-Pax ferry service between Hazira and Ghogha in Gujarat through video-conferencing, he said efforts were also being made to maximise the user of about 21,000 km of waterways in the country.
Modi also announced the renaming of the Ministry of Shipping as the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways.
He said that, today, under the Sagarmala project, work is going on over 500 projects across the country. He said that transportation by waterways is many times cheaper than road and railways and also causes less damage to the environment.
"Yet work has been done with a holistic approach in this direction only after 2014," he said.
Modi said that work is going on in inland rivers across the country to connect many land-locked states to the sea.
Modi said that there was a great need to strengthen the maritime logistics, given the fact that the costs of transportation of goods could be reduced by the use of water transport.
"Our focus should be to create an ecosystem where there can be seamless movement of cargo. The country is now making rapid strides in the direction of Multimodal Connectivity to reduce logistics costs and efforts have been made to improve connectivity between road, rail, air and shipping infrastructure," he said.
He said Multimodal Logistics Parks are being constructed in the country. He added that multimodal connectivity is being developed with our neighbouring countries also.
Modi spoke at length about the benefits of the Ro-Pax service between Hazira in South Gujarat and Ghogha in Saurashtra, across the Gulf of Cambay and said it would boost business and provide faster connectivity.
He said Gujarat had given priority to port-led development in the past two decaes and taken steps to develop the maritime potential of the state as well as the infrastructure in coastal areas. Last year, the state accounted for more than 40 per cent of the country's total maritime trade.