As many as 101 projects have been identified by the Ministry of Ports under the PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan to strengthen the port connectivity with consumption and production centres.
Addressing an event organised by industry body Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) virtually, Mr Sarbananda Sonowal, Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways said that as many as 111 waterways, spread over 24 states in the country, have been declared as national waterways.
The minister added that the government’s infrastructure plans such as Sagarmala, Bharatmala project- that aims to lay a grid of highways across the country, and railways’ Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC), are at various stages of implementation.
Under the Sagarmala project, the government provides financial support to state governments for port infrastructure development and skill development programmes. The Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNPT) is ready to connect with other ports in the country, said the minister. On October 13, PM Modi had launched the Rs 100 lakh crore national master plan for multi-modal connectivity to develop infrastructure to decrease the logistic costs and boost the economy.
Mr Sonowal said, the country’s maritime sector plays a crucial role in its overall trade and growth. “Our efforts in the past couple of years have started bringing results… the investment in ports have increased over the last five years,” he said.
The minister added that the increased efficiency in supply chain and logistics will help achieve the target of $5 trillion economy by 2025. The government is proactively encouraging private sector participation in development and operation of port infrastructure. Investment in ports has touched an all-time high of $2.35 billion by 2020, he added