The Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu today called upon all the Chairpersons and administrators of Ports across the country to make ports more energy-efficient and environment-friendly. He stressed that such efforts were needed to counter climate change, one of the biggest challenges faced by the world.Interacting with the Chairpersons of major Port Trusts during the ‘Chintan Baithak’ being held by the Ministry of Shipping in Mamallapuram today, the Vice President stressed upon the need to harness our vast coast for the sustainable growth and development of the country. Appreciating the contributions of India’s 7516 km long coast, its 12 major ports and 200 non-major ports to the nation’s growth story, he opined that India has an excellent opportunity for port-led development as ports were inevitable for exports and imports.On this occasion, Shri Naidu also appreciated the Sagarmala port-led development initiated by the Government of India and said that it was the best step towards creating greenfield ports, modernizing the existing ports, and also for empowering the coastal community by generating employment opportunities. The Vice President advised the ports to adopt best practices to effectively utilize their financial resources to derive maximum benefits. For this to happen he suggested them to reduce logistics cost, dredging expenditure and also improve turnaround time. “We need to create more transshipment hubs on either side of the coasts,” he added.
Shri Naidu asked the Chairpersons to transform ports into lighthouses for the citizens by taking lead in upgrading infrastructure in the nearby localities in towns and lend support to promote the local culture, arts, and heritage. He called for developing all Indian ports on par with other global ports and said that the creation of world-class infrastructure at ports was important for India become 5 trillion dollar economy.Describing community coastal community development as an essential component of port-led development, the Vice President asked all administrators and managers to concentrate more on CSR activities and take care of local communities by providing skills to local youth so that they grab employment opportunities.The Vice President asked ports to take an active part in programs such as Swachh Bharat and extend support to local authorities in maintaining the cleanliness of the city or town.The three-day Chintan Baithak (from 28 February to 01 March, 2020) is being held by the Ministry of Shipping in the coastal town of Mamallapuram. The ‘Baithak’ is an endeavour towards discussing and finding solutions to various challenges being faced by the ports and mapping out the prospects of growth and development of ports in India.The Union Minister of State for Shipping (I/C) & Chemicals and Fertilizers, Shri Mansukh Mandaviya, Secretary, Shipping, Shri Gopal Krishna, Chairpersons of major Port Trusts were present during the interaction.