Inland waterways a game changer in national connectivity, Gadkari

Gadkari informed that ports around the world had suffered losses, whereas Indian ports had shown a growth of 2.6%.

The Dollar Business Bureau

Describing the development of inland waterways as a game changer in national connectivity, Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Tuesday that the move will reduce cost of transportation as well as road congestion.

Gadkari informed there are just five inland waterways at present and 106 more have been identified by the central government.

This would cut the cost of transportation for passengers and goods, reduce congestion on roads and play a crucial role in pollution reduction, he said while addressing a conference organised by the Press Information Bureau in Chandigarh. The Minister further said amphibious buses and hovercrafts would be introduced to increase the use of the inland waterways.

Gadkari informed that ports across the world had suffered losses, whereas Indian ports had witnessed a growth of 2.6 percent, making profits around Rs.6,000 crore.

India, currently, has only 12 ports and there are plans to add 6 more.

The minister also briefed the media about the Sagarmala Project, which is aimed at port-led economic growth and to lift the economy in the coastal regions. The project would develop manufacturing hubs as well as encourage fishing.

The minister said according to experts, industrial clusters at Sagarmala will attract Rs 8 lakh crore worth of investments.

However, it is necessary to enhance the draft capacity of the country’s ports to enable bigger ships to dock in order to raise the transportation capacity and cut commercial cost, he added.

The Dollar Business Bureau - Oct 19, 2016 12:00 IST