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Regulatory & policy changes brought about for doubling share of coastal shipping & inland water navigation, workshop told


A national-level workshop titled "Accelerating Sagarmala Implementation - Promoting Coastal Shipping and Inland Navigation in India" was organised by the Ministry of Shipping and Indian Chamber of Commerce at Bhubaneswar in association with Paradip Port Trust last week. The aim was to bring all the port and maritime infrastructure stakeholders of the Sagarmala programme to deliberate and discuss the challenges and incentives for promoting coastal shipping and inland navigation in India.


The workshop was inaugurated by Mr A. P. Padhi, Chief Secretary, government of Odisha. The dignitaries present included Mr L. N. Gupta, IAS, Additional Chief Secretary, MSME, government of Odisha; Mr Rabindra Kumar Agarwal, Joint Secretary (Sagarmala), Ministry of Shipping; Mr Sanjeev Chopra, Principal Secretary, Department of Industries, government of Odisha; Mr Sanjay Singh, Chairman-cum-Director, IDCO; and Mr Sanjay Rastogi, Principal Secretary, Department of Commerce and Transport, government of Odisha.


In his address, Mr Padhi said that being a maritime state blessed with rich mineral resources and large industries, Odisha has tremendous potential for development of coastal shipping and inland waterways, which are clean modes of transport but have not attained their true potential. He pointed out that augmenting infrastructure at the three leading ports of Odisha (Paradip, Gopalpur and Dhamra) will be key to achieving the same. He concluded by saying that the need of the hour was to focus on evacuation of coal from the coalfields and to accelerate the development of the Haridaspur-Paradip rail line. In his view, the development of a Coastal Economic Zone will be a major step towards boosting industrialisation and trade in Odisha.


Mr Singh talked about the importance of public investment in infrastructure and emphasised that expediting the transportation of coal from Talcher needs to be addressed. He further said that the Sagarmala programme is a timely initiative from the government and congratulated the Ministry of Shipping for organising this workshop in Bhubaneswar.


Mr Rinkesh Roy, Chairman, Paradip Port Trust, made a detailed presentation on the performance of the Port and all its infrastructure development initiatives. He specifically highlighted that the Port had achieved a throughput of 90 mt in FY 17 at an impressive growth rate of 16.5 per cent. He underscored the importance of mechanisation and warehousing facilities as key efficiency drivers of port operations. In this regard, he mentioned the successful development of ‘Clean Cargo Terminal’ and ongoing implementation of iron ore terminal on BOT basis, which is likely to be commissioned in 2018. He informed the participants that a MoU would be signed by the Port Trust with CONCOR for the development of a Multimodal Logistics Park spread over 100 acres.


Mr Agarwal gave a brief overview of the salient features of the programme, including the specific initiatives taken by the Ministry to promote coastal shipping and inland water transportation. He also highlighted the specific regulatory and policy changes for doubling the share of coastal shipping and inland water navigation in the overall transportation modal mix.


Mr Shrikant Mahiyaria, Member Traffic, IWAI, provided detailed information on various ongoing and proposed projects for inland water transport in India, including Jal Marg Vikas Project and Indo-Bangladesh Trade and Transit Protocol. The other participants in the workshop included Mr Anoop Agarwal, MD, IPRCL; Capt. BVJK Sharma, JMD and CEO, JSW Infrastructure; representatives from Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd and ICCSA.


Mr N. Vaiyapuri, Deputy Chairman, PPT, extended the vote of thanks.


Source: Exim News Service - Bhubaneswar, July 16


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