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PM Modi kicks off maritime summit, outlines investment plan of Rs 23,000 crore to develop deep water ports

Vizhinjam International Seaport in Kerala opens, a big push for India's maritime economy (Image courtesy: IANS)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced an investment plan of Rs 23,000 crore by 2047 aimed at developing and improving India’s ports while reducing shipping emissions.

“In the post-corona (Covid-19) era, the world needs reliable and resilient supply chains,” Modi said during his address at the Global Maritime India Summit (GMIS) in Mumbai.

“Today, a new world order is taking shape, and in this new order, the whole world is looking at India in a new light,” he said.

The Prime Minister also laid the foundation stone for the Rs 4,539-crore Tuna Tekra, the  all-weather deep draft terminal to be built under the public private partnership model at the Deendayal Port Authority (Kandla Port) in Gujarat. The terminal, which is likely to emerge as an international trade hub, will handle next-gen vessels exceeding 18,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), and will act as a gateway for Indian trade via India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEEC).

Sagarmala Project

“Government’s vision of ‘Ports for Prosperity and Ports for Progress’ is bringing transformational changes at the ground level”, the Prime Minister said as he noted that the mantra of ‘Ports for Productivity’ is also being encouraged.

The three-day summit is the biggest maritime event in the country. Business leaders and heads of shipping companies from Europe, Africa, South America, Asia (including central Asia, Middle East and BIMSTEC region) are in Mumbai to participate in the summit, which is expected to draw investments into the maritime sector.

Meanwhile, the opening of the Vizhinjam International Seaport in Kerala—India’s first mega transshipment container terminal, has put the country on the “map for the world’s biggest container ships.” The port is expected to draw some of the world’s biggest vessels especially since it is located close to the shipping routes that include connecting the Suez Canal and Malacca Strait at a time when the world’s focus on the Indian Ocean Region is rising.

With the country’s focus now on modernizing the shipping industry with the construction of state of the art ports, large containers and cargo vessels would be able to dock on the Indian ports, something that was not possible until now. This would boost investments into India, as it tries to position itself as the world’s factory with the call to “Make in India for the world.”

Also read: Kerala’s giant Vizhinjam port draws global attention, showcases India’s commercial aspirations in Indian Ocean Region