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Ports to give a boost to coastal shipping

As many as 26 Coastal berth projects have been sanctioned in various major and minor ports of the country costing Rs 1207 crores in a bid to double the share of domestic waterways in the modal mix of six per cent at present and thereby reduce logistics cost of our exports Minister of State for Shipping Pon Radhkrishan informed the Lok Sabha last week.

In a written answer he said the coastal berth scheme being implemented in the ports since March 2015 to promote the development of infrastructure for movement of passengers and cargo at major and non major ports has been merged with Sagar Mala Program and extended up to March 2020.

While the major ports have been provided financial assistance to the tune of  Rs 462.60 crores, the state maritime boards which control non major ports have given assistance  of Rs 275.30 crores

The Government proposes to augment capacity to develop eco-friendly and economic mode of transportation along inland waterways and coastal shipping routes under the SagarmalaProgramme. Sagarmala is the flagship program of the Ministry of Shipping to promote port-led development in the country by harnessing India’s 7,500 km long coastline, 14,500 km of potentially navigable waterways.        .

The Government has declared 111 ‘National Waterways’ (including 5 existing NWs) under the National Waterways Act, 2016. It is implementing the Jal Marg Vikas Project, JMVP for augmenting the navigation capacity of NW-1 from Haldia to Varanasi at a cost of Rs.5369 crore with technical and financial support of the World Bank. Development of 8 new National Waterways has been taken up.

The traffic projections and forecast models in the feasibility studies and DPRs prepared for the development of viable National Waterways indicate an enhanced demand for low draft – high carrying capacity and tug-barge flotilla vessels.

Inland Waterways Authority of India has engaged a reputed agency in the field of vessel design to make appropriate designs for (NW-1) with emphasis on low draft high carrying capacity and fuel efficient vessels.

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