Udayavni Special

$82 billion being invested in ports under Sagarmala Project says PM Modi

PTI, Mar 2, 2021, 5:53 PM IST

New Delhi: India will invest $82 billion in port projects by 2035, raise the share of clean renewable energy source in the maritime sector, develop waterways, augment seaplane services and boost tourism around lighthouses, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday urging global players to make India a “preferred investment destination.”

As many as 400 projects with investment potential to the tune of $31 billion are ready for investors, who can be a part of India’s growth trajectory, Modi said inaugurating the Maritime India Summit.

“More than 574 projects at a cost of $82 billion or Rs 6 lakh crore have been identified under the Sagarmala project for implementation during 2030 and 2035… We will encourage private investment in the port sector… 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,” the prime minister said as he invited players to invest in Indian ports, shipyards and waterways.

The Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways is ready with a list of 400 investable projects with an investment potential of $31 billion or Rs 2.25 lakh crore, Modi said adding, this will further strengthen India’s commitment of overall development of its maritime sector.

“Through this Maritime India summit, I want to invite the world to come to India and be a part of our growth trajectory. India is emerging as a leading blue economy in the world. Our leading focus area includes upgrading current infrastructure, creating next-generation infra, boosting the reform journey. Through these steps we aim to give vision to our Aatmanirbhar Bharat,” he said.

Modi further noted that “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. We aim to operate 23 waterways by 2030.”

He said this will be done through infrastructure enhancement, fairway development, navigation aid and river information system provisions and focus will also be given on augmenting regional connectivity to Bangladesh, Bhutan and Myanmar.

New Maritime Infra will usher in ease of living through the launch of roll-on, roll-off and other projects for harnessing rivers.

“Waterdromes at 16 locations are being developed to enable seaplane operations… River cruise terminal infra and jetty are being developed on five national waterways. We aim to develop domestic and international cruise terminals by 2023,” the prime minister said.

Asserting that the government is working towards holistic maritime development that is not in silos, he said plans have been drawn for developing tourism on land adjacent to 78 out of 189 lighthouses on the Indian coastline.

“This with the objective of enhancing the development of the existing lighthouses and its surrounding areas into unique maritime tourism landmarks,” he said adding the government has also initiated holistic development of islands.

Alongside, the usage of clean renewable energy in the maritime sector is being raised.

“We are in the process of installing solar and wind-based power systems in all the major ports across the country. We aim to increase usage of renewable energy to more than 60 per cent of all energy by 2030 in three phases across Indian ports,” he said.

Modi said Indian ports have reduced waiting time for inbound and outbound cargo.

“India is very serious about growing in the maritime sector and emerging as a leading Blue Economy of the world,” he said.

The government of India is also focusing on the domestic shipbuilding and ship repair market, he said adding to encourage domestic shipbuilding, a Shipbuilding Financial Assistance Policy for Indian Shipyards has been approved.

Recalling India’s rich maritime heritage, the PM said it brings together many stakeholders.

“Together we will achieve great success in boosting the maritime economy. India is a natural leader in this sector. Our nation has a rich maritime history. Civilisations flourished on our coasts. For thousands of years. Our ports have been important trading centres. Our ports connected India to the world,” he said.

Emphasising on improving efficiency, he said as a result of steps in this direction, the capacity of major ports which was 870 Million Tonnes in 2014, has increased to around 1,550 MT per annum at present.

This productivity gain not only helps our ports but also boosts the overall economy by making our ports more competitive,” he said.

The prime minister also launched an e-book – Maritime India Vision (MIV) 2030 – that envisages over Rs 3 lakh crore investments in various port sectors generating over 20 lakh direct and indirect jobs.

The MIV 2030 identifies five key areas to propel growth and deliver tangible benefits to agriculture, logistics, local manufacturing, recycling and tourism besides boosting Indian tonnage.

It aims to make India a preferred global destination for investments in the sector.

The prime minister also launched Sagar Manthan Mercantile Marine Domain that envisages receiving oceanic data among others.

Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways Mansukh Mandaviya said post-enactment of Recycling of Ship Act 2019, India now aspires to grab at least 50 per cent of the global ship recycling business.

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