New Delhi: India’s Road Transport, Highways and Shipping minister Nitin Gadkari claims to have persuaded the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government to give greater importance to shipping.
Judging by the manner in which a number of new shipping and ports projects – like the conversion of 101 rivers into inland waterways, the setting up of two new major ports on the east coast, and Sagarmala, which involves the modernisation of both major and minor ports – have been announced in the past eight months, Gadkari stressed that the shipping sector was being made more vibrant.
“Initiatives have been taken to revive the rich cultural heritage of India in shipping, as the country’s maritime traditions go back to the Indus Valley civilization when the first port in the world was set up at Lothal,” Gadkari said, while inaugurating National Maritime Week in New Delhi on Monday.
“We are committed to the integrated growth of the shipping and ports sector. Two new ports are being set up in Durgarajapatnam in Andhra Pradesh and Sagar in West Bengal, under the public-private partnership mode, at a cost of about INR158.20bn ($2.53bn).”