PM Modi renames Ministry of Shipping as “Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways”
On Sunday, 08th November, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the Ministry of Shipping is being expanded and renamed as the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways.
He was addressing a gathering after inaugurating a Ro-Pax ferry service between Hazira in Surat and Ghogha in Bhavnagar district of Gujarat.
Mr Modi said work is being done so that the country’s sea area emerges as an important part of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ (self-reliant India).
“To boost the government’s effort, one bigger step is being taken. Now, the Ministry of Shipping is being renamed as the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways,” he said.
“It (the ministry) is being expanded. In developed economies, in most places, the shipping ministry also takes care of ports and waterways. In India, the shipping ministry does a lot of work related to ports and waterways. Clarity in name will also bring about clarity in work,” he added.
On the new Ro-Pax ferry service, he informed that it will reduce the distance between Bhavnagar to Surat, which is around 375-km by road, to 90-km by sea route and also reduce the travel time from 10-12 hours to three to four hours. “The service will help people save both time and cost and also reduce traffic congestion on roads and reduce pollution,” Mr Modi stated.
The three-deck Ro-Pax Ferry Vessel Voyage Symphony connecting Hazira in Surat district in south Gujarat and Ghogha in Saurashtras Bhavnagar has a load capacity of 30 trucks, 100 passenger cars, and 500 passengers plus 34 crew and hospitality staff, as per a statement earlier released by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
The ferry will make three trips daily, annually transporting five lakh passengers, 80,000 passenger vehicles, 50,000 two-wheelers and 30,000 trucks, as per the release.
Mr. Modi said to strengthen the ‘blue economy’, it is important to strengthen logistics related to the sea. Compared to other countries, the cost of carrying goods from one part to another is high in India even today.
"Through water transport, this (cost) can be reduced drastically. Therefore, our focus is to create such an ecosystem where seamless movement of cargo is ensured. Today, for better maritime logistics along with better infrastructure, we are working on a single-window system,” he added.
“To reduce the cost of logistics, the country is moving ahead with a holistic and long-term view of multi-modal connectivity. The effort is to improve connectivity between road, rail, air and shipping infrastructure by removing silos between them,” he informed.
He said multi-modal parks are being constructed not just in India, but also neighbouring countries. “With all these efforts, we shall be able to reduce the cost of logistics. These efforts will also give a new direction to the economy,” he said. IMS