On Tuesday, October 15, Union Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said in New Delhi that the Ministry of Shipping is working on a plan to develop a national port grid based on the synergy between major and minor ports in the country. Mansukh Mandaviya made his remarks during the 17th Meeting of Maritime States Development Council (MSDC).
The Union Minister of Shipping said that the government is looking at developing synergy between the major and minor ports so that together they can bring port-led development in the country. He added that all 204 minor ports in the country can become important centres of sea trade if revived. "A development plan for ports and National Port Grid will be ready within six months. An extensive study will be done for the revival of each port, identifying the specific cargo linked to it and the downstream industry," Mandaviya said, according to a Shipping Ministry release. "The Centre will share the study findings with the states so that the non-functional minor ports can be developed and made functional," he added.
Mandaviya also underlined the importance of coastal shipping and inland waterways in the development of the country. "The cost-effective and pollution-free water transport can reduce logistics costs in the country, making Indian goods more competitive in the global markets," he said. The Ministry is planning an expansion of port capacity through the implementation of infrastructure development projects and also increase the efficiency of port operations by implementing recommendations like digitisation of processes, he said. Speaking on port security, Mandaviya said that international levels of security would be ensured at every port in the country.
The Central government has focused on building up inland waterways in the country to increase trade and connectivity. Last month, PM Narendra Modi inaugurated India’s second riverine Multi-Modal Terminal (MMT) built at Sahibganj in Jharkhand on September 12. The Prime Minister inaugurated a state-of-the-art terminal through a two-way digital communication system at an event in Ranchi, Jharkhand. The Multi-Modal Terminal took two years to complete, constructed on the river Ganga under Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP) at a cost of Rs. 290 crores.
(With ANI inputs)