Ministry of Shipping Renamed Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways

01 Nov 2020

Ministry of Shipping has been renamed the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways. The new name for the ministry was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the inauguration of the roll-on-roll-off terminal and launch of ferry service at Hazira in Gujarat on November 8.

“Now this ministry will be known as the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways and it is being expanded. In most of the developed countries, the Ministry of Shipping handles Ports and Waterways. The shipping ministry has been doing several works related to ports and waterways,” the prime minister said, adding, “Now with more clarity in name, there will be more clarity in the work,” prime minister Modi said.”

Congratulating the people of Gujarat on the terminal and the Hazira-Gogha ferry service, the prime minister said, “The years of the dream have been realised and the wait for years has ended for the people of Saurashtra and South Gujarat with the start of the ro-pax service between Hazira and Ghogha. A new terminal has also been inaugurated at Hazira. Many many congratulations and best wishes to all of you for the establishment of this new maritime link between Bhavnagar and Surat.”

He further said ro-pax service between Hazira and Ghogha had made dreams come true for the people of Saurashtra and South Gujarat, as the journey was shortened from 10-12 hours to 3-4 hours. He said this will save both time and expenses. He said about 80,000 passenger trains and 30,000 trucks will be able to take advantage of this new service yearly.

Prime Minister Modi also said better connectivity between Saurashtra and Surat was going to change the life of the people in those regions. He added fruits, vegetables and milk could now easily be transported and pollution would also be reduced with the launch of this service. He thanked all the engineers and workers who help build the facility amidst a lot of challenges.

Gujarat Leads in Maritime Development

The prime minister lauded the way Gujarat had realised its maritime potential by prioritising port-led development in the last 20 years.

“It is a matter of pride for every Gujarati the way Gujarat has realised its maritime potential in the last two decades and gave priority to port-led development. During this time, special attention has been given to infrastructure in coastal areas of Gujarat and other development projects. Priority has been given to the development of every infrastructure, be it the state’s shipbuilding policy, or the development of ship-building park, or the specialised terminals,” he said.

The prime minister said that today Gujarat was a gateway of prosperity due to the efforts of the state government in ensuring the development of all types of infrastructure in coastal areas. He said over the years, a unique model of the integrated port had evolved from traditional port operations in Gujarat to become a benchmark today. He said the result of these efforts was that the ports of Gujarat had emerged as major maritime centres of the country.

The western state accounted for more than 40 per cent of the country’s total maritime trade last year.

The prime minister observed that the development of maritime business-related infrastructure and capacity building were in full swing in the state. Several facilities like Gujarat Maritime Cluster, Gujarat Maritime University and the country’s first compressed natural gas (CNG) terminal at Bhavnagar were being readied.

Similarly, the maritime cluster ports to be built in the country’s first operational smart city, the GIFT City near state capital Gandhinagar, linked ports to sea-based logistics. He said that these clusters will help in strengthening the synergies between the government, industry and educational institutions.

The prime minister said the government was making efforts to restart the ferry service between Ghogha-Dahej. He said many natural challenges had arisen in this project and efforts were being made to remove them using modern technology. He added Gujarat Maritime University was a major centre for providing trained manpower and experts ready for maritime trade. The university provided opportunities to pursue maritime law and international trade law and also MBA in maritime management, shipping and logistics. He said apart from the university, work was also underway to build the country’s first museum dedicated to maritime heritage in Lothal.

Ports Development Fast-tracked

Prime Minister Modi said that the capacity of the ports had been increased across the nation and construction of new ports was also going on at a faster pace.

“Efforts are being made to put maximum use of about 21,000 km of waterway in the country for the development of the country. Under the Sagarmala Project, work is going on over 500 projects across the country,” he added.

He said work was going on in inland rivers across the country to connect many land-locked states to the sea. He also said the country was developing its capabilities in the Indian Ocean on an unprecedented scale. Thus, the country’s maritime sector had emerged as an important part of Atmanirbhar Bharat.

Suggesting that logistics costs can be reduced through water transport, the prime minister said the country must focus on creating an ecosystem to facilitate the seamless movement of cargo. He added that rapid strides were being made in the direction of multimodal connectivity and efforts had been made to improve connectivity between road, rail, air and shipping infrastructure.

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