Modi stresses ‘quick’ development in ports

modiMUMBAI: India needs to move at a “quick pace” to develop maritime and space sectors which will have the greatest impact in this century, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said here.

Stressing on “port-led” development for realizing India’s aspirations to become a global power, Modi said his government is reviving the ‘Sagarmala’ project in partnership with the coastal states as it believes in co-operative and competitive federalism.

Modi asserted that under Ports and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari, his government has done more for the sector in the last 15 months than what the previous UPA government could do in 10 years.

UPA regime kept the Sagarmala project of port-led development, conceived by the NDA government under Atal Bihari Vajpayee, on the backburner because it had “a different agenda”, he said at a public meeting in the financial capital.

The ambitious project envisages development of major and non-major ports, enabling them to become drivers of economic development, developing new linkages for transport, setting up of logistics hubs, and establishment of industries and manufacturing centers.

The PM laid the foundation stone of a fourth container terminal at Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, which will double the capacity of the country’s largest container port in two years.

“In the 21st century, progress in the space and maritime fronts will have the greatest impact. India wants to move ahead with the changing times in these fields,” Modi said. “Be it space & sea, we need to be moving at a quick pace,” said the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister also said the pace at which the economy is growing, and the initiatives like `Make in India’ demand that ports do not lag behind.

Modi asserted that rather than port development, India wants to have ‘port-led’ development, as the vibrancy of the port sector and the economic growth go hand-in-hand.

The port-led development would involve working on rail, road and air connectivity and developing warehousing and cold storage facilities, he said.

The country aspires to become a formidable player at the world stage, Modi said, adding “we are creating our own place in the world and partnering with Iran to build the Chhabar port.”

He also stressed the need to develop ports, modernize them and expand capacities for realizing India’s aspirations to become a global power.

Modi also underlined the importance of road connectivity.

Construction of roads needs money, but once created, roads too create money, he said.

The Prime Minister also complimented Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu for the initiatives he has taken, and added that results of this work will show on the ground in coming days.

JNPT’s 4th terminal
Modi laid the foundation stone at Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), situated off the financial capital’s eastern seafront, for the Rs 7,900 crore fourth terminal project to be carried out in two phases.

He was accompanied by Maharashtra Governor C Vidyasagar Rao, Union Shipping and Ports Minister Nitin Gadkari and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

The port aspires to be among the top 15 of the world with the implementation of several infrastructure projects, including the fourth terminal. At present it is ranked 31st.

The terminal will help the exim trade, and comes at a time when the country is aspiring to be a manufacturing powerhouse which is clear through the government’s flagship ‘Make in India’ initiative.

The fourth terminal project is being executed by Bharat Mumbai Container Terminal, a subsidiary of Port of Singapore, on a design, built, fund, operate and transfer basis under which JNPT will get a 35.9 per cent share in revenues.

With the two-phased project, the overall container handling capacity of JNPT will more than double to 10 million standard units from the present 4.5 million, Union Shipping Secretary Rajive Kumar had said.

Work on the project has been divided into two phases, entailing an investment of Rs 4,719 crore and Rs 3,196 crore, respectively, and work is expected to be complete by the end of 2017. -PTI

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