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$31 billion lined up for 400 port projects across 7,500-km coastline: PM

India will invest $82 billion (or Rs 6 trillion) in port projects by 2035, raise the share of clean renewable energy source in the maritime sector, develop waterways, augment seaplane services, boost tourism around lighthouses, and generate 2 million jobs, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday.

He urged global players to make India a “preferred investment destination”. In a bid to develop the 7,500-km coastline of India, the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways has drawn up a list of 400 projects with investment potential to the tune of $31 billion (or Rs 2.25 trillion), said Modi at the opening of a three-day Maritime India Summit, participated by 24 nations.

“More than 574 projects at a cost of $82 billion have been identified under the Sagarmala project for implementation between 2030 and 2035. We will encourage private investment in the port sector. India’s long coastline awaits you. Let India be your preferred trade destination. Let Indian ports be your port of call for trade and commerce,” Modi said, inviting players to invest in Indian ports, shipyards, and waterways.

The capacity of major ports has increased to 1,550 million tonnes (mt), from 870 mt in 2014.

Modi said Indian ports have reduced waiting time for inbound and outbound cargo. “India is very serious about growing in the maritime sector and emerging as a leading Blue Economy of the world,” he said.

At present, mega ports with world-class infrastructure are being developed at the ports of Vadhavan (in Palghar district of coastal Konkan), Paradip (in Jagatsinghpur district of Odisha), and Kandla (officially Deendayal Port Trust in Kutch district of Gujarat).

“Ours is a government that is investing in waterways. Domestic waterways are found to be cost-effective and an environment friendly way of transporting freight. We aim to operationalise 23 waterways by 2030,” he said. India has as many as 189 lighthouses across its vast coastline. The government has chalked out a plan to develop some of these spots into tourist destinations.


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