Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister for Shipping and Chemical & Fertilizers, during the 17th Meeting of Maritime states Development Council (MSDC) on Tuesday, announced that the ministry is working on a plan to develop a National Grid for Ports based on the synergy between the major and minor ports in the country.
Mr Mandaviya said that out of the 204 minor ports in the country, only 44 are functional. “All these ports have been centres of maritime activity in the past, and if revived, they can once again become important centres of sea trade,” he pointed out.
According to him, the development plan for ports and the National Grid for ports will be ready in six months. An extensive study in identifying the specific cargo linked to the ports and the downstream industry will be done for the revival of each port.
Also, Mr Mandaviya, while calling for cooperation between the Centre and State, said, “The Centre will share the study findings with the States so that the non-functional minor ports can be developed and made functional.”
“The coastal shipping and inland waterways sector are poised to play a vital role in the development of the country. The cost-effective and pollution-free water transport can reduce logistics costs in the country, making Indian goods more competitive in the global markets,” he said while addressing the media.
Further, the minister announced the shipping ministry’s plan of expansion of port capacity by implementing well-conceived infrastructure development projects, increasing the efficiency of port operations through the implementation of a package of recommendations to cut time and cost, digitization of processes to reduce and finally eliminate human interface and to strongly address environment-related concerns.
Apart from this, the minister also laid emphasis on the importance of SEZs being developed at JNPT and Smart Industrial Port Cities at Kandla and Paradip and skilled manpower. The minister said, “Establishment of research-based institutes like CEMS, CICMT at IIT Kharagpur and NTCPWC at IIT Madras will help the maritime industry to get indigenous research and skilled manpower.”