NEW DELHI: Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh and Minister for Shipping, Road Transport & Highways and Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Shri Nitin Gadkari inaugurated an alternate sea route to Baratang Island and laid the foundation stone for extension of dry dock in Port Blair, extension of wharf in Hope Town and construction of an additional jetty along with extension of Berthing Jetty in Neil Island at an event in Port Blair in A&N Islands.
Speaking on the occasion Shri Gadkari said that the new projects will now make it possible for repairing ships in A & N Islands itself instead of sending them to faraway and foreign places for repair, which also becomes costly. He said, these islands have a huge potential for ship building and ship repair industry. Stating that innovation, technology, research and entrepreneurship are the need of the hour, he urged for private investment for developing ship building industry in the islands, for which Ministry of Shipping is ready to extend necessary assistance. He said, the Ministry is focussing on ‘Make in India’ programme under the Sagarmala Project. Efforts are on to bring in new technology for manufacturing ships in the Country.
Speaking about the shipping sector, the Shri Gadkari said, most of the ships in A & N Islands are old and need to be replaced. He announced that 14 new ships will be added in A & N islands by 2020. The Minister further stated that under Sagarmala Project around Rs 4 lakh crores have been earmarked for port-road connectivity, port-rail connectivity, modernisation and mechanisation of ports. He further stated, India’s 7300 km long coastline and rivers have potential for big-scale development of cost effective waterways transportation which will bring down logistics cost significantly and also be a convenient mode of transportation.