PUDICHERRY: An integrated transport policy that encompasses all modes of transportation, including Coastal Shipping and Inland Waterways, is required, according to SV Subhedar, Past President of ICC Shipping Association, and Executive Director (T) of Indian National Ship Owners Association.
IWT and Coastal Shipping constitute just 0.2 per cent and 7.4 per cent, respectively, of the total transportation mix, with heavy dependence on road and rail for cargo transport.
The National Sagarmala Programme is trying to address the growth concerns, he said at a ‘knowledge sharing session’ on Coastal Shipping and IWT organised by Karaikal Port, a private port in Puducherry.
Shortage of small ships is a major reason hampering development of both Coastal Shipping and inland waterways. There is enough cargo to transport through both Coastal Shipping and IWT, he said.
In the next five years, nearly 250 small-sized ships with carrying capacity of 1,500 to 2,000 tonnes will be required. However, there is no ship building company in India that can deliver so many ships. “We need to find a way out,” he said.