New Delhi (NVI): Aiming at strengthening Indian maritime security in a big way, the Ministry of Shipping is planning international levels of security at every port across the Nation. The Ministry has also plans to expand the maritime sector with development of over 200 non-major ports and National ports grid.
Addressing the 17th meeting of maritime states development council here, Minister of Shipping, Mansukh Mandaviya discussed ports security issue and said, “International levels of security would be ensured at every port in the country including the security of both major and minor ports.”
Currently, the major ports like Chennai, Cochin, Visakhapatnam, Tuticorin and some others have been provided level 1 security.
The Ministry of shipping is also planning to expand the maritime sector with development of over 200 non-major ports and National ports grid based on synergy between the major and minor ports in the country.
“There are 204 minor ports in the country, of which only 44 are currently 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,” said Mandaviya.
Seeking greater cooperation between the centre and states to develop the maritime sector, Mandaviya said, “The Centre will share the study findings with the states so that the non-functional minor ports can be developed and made functional.”
“Development plan for ports and National Port Grid will be ready within six months. The extensive study will be done for the revival of each port, identifying the specific cargo linked to it and the downstream industry,” Mandaviya added.
“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,” said Mandaviya.
He further added, “The Ministry of Shipping is planning expansion of port capacity through the implementation of 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.”
Meanwhile the ministry also laid emphasis on the advent of cruise tourism in India and the importance of SEZs being developed at JNPT and Smart Industrial Port Cities at Kandla and Paradip, stating, “Establishment of research-based institutes like CEMS, CICMT at IIT, Kharagpur and NTCPWC, IIT, Madras will help the maritime industry to get indigenous research and skilled manpower.”