NEW DELHI: A National Level Workshop titled “Accelerating Sagarmala Implementation - Promoting Coastal Shipping and Inland Navigation in India” was organized by the Ministry of Shipping and Indian Chamber of Commerce at Bhubaneswar in association with Paradip Port Trust. The focus was to bring all the port and maritime infrastructure stakeholders of the Sagarmala Programme to deliberate and discuss challenges and incentives for promoting Coastal Shipping and Inland Navigation in India.
The workshop was inaugurated by Shri. A. P. Padhi, Chief Secretary, Government of Odisha. Dignitaries present included Shri L.N. Gupta, IAS, Additional Chief Secretary, MSME, Govt. of Odisha; Shri. Rabindra Kumar Agarwal, Joint Secretary (Sagarmala), Ministry of Shipping; Shri. Sanjeev Chopra, Principal Secretary, Dept. of Industries, Govt. of Odisha; Shri. Sanjay Singh, Chairman cum Director, IDCO; Shri. Sanjay Rastogi, Principal Secretary, Dept. of Commerce & Transport, Govt. of Odisha.
In his address Shri. A.P. Padhi stated that being a maritime state blessed with rich mineral resources and large industries, Odisha has a tremendous potential for development of coastal shipping and inland waterways which are clean modes of transport but have not attained their true potential. He further added that improvement of infrastructure in the three leading ports of Odisha (Paradip, Gopalpur and Dhamra) will be a key to achieving the same. He concluded by saying that the need of the hour is to focus on evacuation of coal from the coalfields and to accelerate the development of Haridaspur-Paradip Rail Line.
In his view, the development of a Coastal Economic Zone will be a major step towards boosting the industrialization and trade in the State of Odisha.
Shri Sanjay Singh mentioned the importance of public investment in infrastructure and emphasized that expediting the transportation of coal from Talcher needs to be addressed.
He further said that the Sagarmala Programme is a timely initiative from the Government and congratulated the Ministry of Shipping for organizing this workshop in Bhubaneswar.
Shri Rinkesh Roy, Chairman Paradip Port Trust made a detailed presentation on the performance of the port and all the infrastructure development initiatives undertaken by the port. He specifically highlighted that the port had achieved a throughput of 90 MT in FY 17 at an impressive growth rate of 16.5%. He underscored the importance of mechanization and warehousing facilities as key efficiency drivers of port operations. In this regard he mentioned the successful development of ‘Clean Cargo Terminal’ and ongoing implementation of iron ore terminal on BOT basis which is likely to be commissioned in 2018. He informed the participants that an MoU would be signed by the port with CONCOR for development of a Multi Modal Logistics Park spread over 100 acres of land.
Shri Rabindra Kumar Agarwal, Joint Secretary Sagarmala gave a brief overview of the salient features of Sagarmala Programme including the specific initiatives taken by the Ministry to promote Coastal Shipping and inland water transportation.
He also highlighted the specific regulatory and policy changes for doubling the share of Coastal Shipping and inland water navigation in the overall transportation modal mix.