Sarbananda Sonowal says the vision of Prime Minister isto enable the coastal areas development, improve coastal infrastructure and protect & promote marine economy

New Delhi :The Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways (MoPSW) started a three day Chintan Baithak to discuss and deliberate ideas & innovations that can propel India’s blue economy in Coorg, Karnataka. The Baithak was chaired by the Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways (PSW) andAyush, Shri SarbanandaSonowal. The Union Minister of State for PSW, Shripad Naik and the Union Minister of State for PSW, Shantanu Thakur; top officials of the ministry including Chairpersons of all major ports, senior officials of MoPSW attended the meeting to take part in the deliberations in this three day brainstorming session.

Speaking on the occasion, Shri Sonowalsaid the vision of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi is to enable the coastal areas development, improve coastal infrastructure and protect & promote marine economy. He said all these steps are aimed at transformation of the blue economy and realisation of the rationale behind ‘transformation through transportation.’ He said to make an Atmanirbhar Bharat, it is imperative that utmost care is taken to optimally utilise the huge opportunity of the Indian marine economy. He said our role – as a ministry of ports, shipping & waterways – is to empower and enable conduits through which these economic transformation can be achieved.

The Minister said through this Chintan Baithak, the best minds of country have come together so that all of us can deliberate, discuss & decide various challenges & opportunities. He said this will go a long way in preparing the roadmap for smooth & swift implementation of our plan to develop &modernise our ports. Shri Sonowal said we must look at the PPP model for this that will also ease up government resources for Greenfield port development. This will comprehensively develop the coastal regions of India for ease of living for people living in these areas and, at the same time, helps businesses avail best services through ease, he added.

In order to promote Multi Modal Connectivity, the Ministry is taking active efforts towards comprehensive development of both major & non-major ports. The importance of a well coordinated ecosystem was highlighted during the deliberations. It is imperative that Ports should expedite infrastructure projects at their end to increase the capital expenditure realisation, added Shri Sonowal. For effective implementation of PM Gati Shakti National Multi Modal Connectivity Plan, emphasis was laid on prioritising rail-road-waterways development. A Master Plan to enable ports to identify and resolve bottlenecks in multi-modal connectivity is the need of the hour, he said.

A total of 157 road connectivity projects and 137 rail connectivity projects are being undertaken for promoting multimodal connectivity at Ports. The Union Minister exhorted all the port authorities to identify, initiate and complete one important project for modernisation and mechanisation. This will augment port capacity and improve functional efficiency.

These completed projects, Shri Sonowal said, would showcase the efforts taken by the Major Ports to complement the impetus provided by the Prime Minister towards infrastructure development and its multiplier effects by boosting the capital expenditure by to Rs. 7.5. Lakh crore the current fiscal – an increase 35.4% over the previous year.

MoS MoPSW Shri Shripad Yesso Naik said we should lead the world with new technology and development at our ports. Other fields related to the ports and shipping sector should also to be considered for development, he added.

MoS of MoPSW, Shantanu Thakur, detailed out the strength of Indian shipping sector and opportunities in Ports waterways sector. He also appreciated the outcomes of previous ‘Chintan Baithak’.

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