Union Minister for Shipping Nitin Gadkari today emphasized on the need to reduce logistics cost, which would be imperative for the success of Make in India initiative. He was speaking at Sectoral Seminar on ‘Opportunities in Shipping and Port Sectors’ as part of the Make In India Week in Mumbai. Shri Gadkari apprised the participants that a lot of initiatives including mechanization, modernization and capacity addition have already been undertaken in the Port sector with a massive investment of Rs. 80,000 crore. Similarly an Indian Port Rail Company has been established with a thrust on rail road connectivity. He informed the participants that 3 new ports i.e. Vadhavan (Maharashtra) with draft of 18 mtrs , Sagar (West Bengal) with draft of 14.5 mtrs and Kolachel (Tamil Nadu) with draft of 18.5 mtrs are being developed.
Shri Gadkari said there was a renewed focus on developing Inland Waterways which is globally recognized as fuel efficient, cost effective and environment friendly mode of transport. He said work was also underway to use LNG as bunker fuel which would reduce the overall cost for the sector On the river Ganga, the Shipping Ministry is building three multi-modal hubs at Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, Sahibganj in Jharkhand and Haldia in West Bengal. He said there is a proposal to build 2,000 water ports over the next 5 years. Mr Amitabh Verma, Chairman, Inland Waterway Authority of India said that one of the reasons for inland waterways not being optimally tapped was due to the focus of post Independent governments on speed – which led to higher allocations in roads and railways development. The Shipping Minister Shri Nitin Gadkari appealed to the private sector to come forward to develop Cruise Tourism, Light Houses and Islands which hold immense tourism potential.