Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Tuesday said that the initiatives of the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways (MoPSW) would boost infrastructure and drive investments to improve regional connectivity to aid trade.
During a meeting with Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde in Mumbai, the Union Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways discussed various projects related to ports and shipping sector in the state under the MoPSW's Sagarmala program.
Underlining that the Maritime infrastructure plays a vital role in the nation's economy, Sonowal said that the Sagarmala project aligns with the Maritime India Vision 2030, and is aimed at providing better facilities to the people in the coastal region. He said its initiatives would further boost infrastructure and drive investments to improve regional connectivity to aid trade.
Sonowal, further said, "There are 114 projects worth Rs 99,210 crore under the Sagarmala Programme. Out of the total 114 projects being implemented in the state of Maharashtra, 43 projects worth Rs 2121 crore are partially funded by MoPSW, of which 37 worth Rs 1,388 Crore, nine worth Rs 279 crore have been completed, 17 projects worth Rs 666 Crore are under implementation and 11 projects worth Rs 443 Crore are under development stage."
He further said that the Sagarmala initiative has successfully enabled the Indian ports to handle large volumes by making them more efficient and reducing the turnaround time of containers.
"Numerous projects have been undertaken across various categories such as port modernization, rail, road, cruise tourism, RORO, RoPax, fisheries, coastal infrastructure and skill development," he said mentioning that currently, 31 Ro-Ro/RoPax projects are in Maharashtra, under the Sagarmala programme of MoPSW.
Stating further, he said to celebrate the maritime activities of the country's coastal states--Coastal States Pavilion-- has been proposed for development in the National Maritime Heritage Complex.
He said, "accordingly for the state of Maharashtra, the land area of 14,00o sq. ft. with a construction area of 6,000- 8,000 sq. ft. has been identified in the periphery of the Coastal States Pavilion of the National Maritime Heritage Complex (NMHC) site."
He also urged the state government to avail the opportunity and make a grand display of the Maritime History of the Maratha empire and Shivaji Maharaj.
He further stated, "As per the grand vision of our Prime Minister, the proposed NMHC will showcase the Indian Maritime History and will become an iconic destination in future."
Sonowal also highlighted the challenge with respect to the projects in Maharashtra. He said, "16 Sagarmala-funded projects delayed for more than one year due to various technical issues and need immediate attention for their successful implementation."
The Union Minister asserted that the MoPSW is providing a big push to Ro-Ro and Passenger transportation through waterways as it is an environment-friendly solution to mobility and resulting in significant savings of cost and time. RoPax facilities are being developed by State or Central authorities and vessel deployment and services are carried out majorly by private players, he added.