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Indian Maritime Sector Witnesses Remarkable Transformation

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New Delhi : The Indian maritime sector has undergone a remarkable transformation in recent years, driven by the government’s strong efforts, industry stakeholders’ collaboration, and the unwavering support of the maritime community.

At a recent review meeting held under the leadership of Union Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal, the progress made in various initiatives was highlighted, demonstrating the government’s commitment to modernizing and strengthening the maritime sector.

Key Highlights:

Significant Increase in Women Seafarers:

The number of registered women Indian Seafarers has witnessed a staggering 514% increase, rising from approximately 1,699 in 2014 to 10,440 in 2023. This growth reflects the government’s efforts to promote gender inclusivity in the maritime workforce.

Third Dry Dock Project at Cochin Shipyard Limited:

The Third Dry Dock Project, with a total cost of Rs. 1,799 Crore, is nearing completion and will serve dual purposes of shipbuilding and ship repair. This state-of-the-art facility will be capable of handling capsize and suez max vessels, 174K LNGC, Oil Rigs and Semi Subs & Large Aircraft carriers.

International Ship Repair Facility (ISRF):

An International Ship Repair Facility (ISRF) worth Rs. 970 Crore is also being constructed at Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL). This facility will cater to the growing demand for ship repair services in the region.

Zero Emission, Zero Noise Vessel:

CSL is developing a “Zero Emission, Zero Noise Vessel” using homegrown technology. This innovative vessel will contribute to reducing environmental pollution and promoting sustainable maritime practices.

International Ferry Service Between India and Sri Lanka:

An international ferry service has been launched from Nagapattinam, India, to Kenkesanthurai, Sri Lanka. This initiative aims to strengthen people-to-people connectivity between the two countries and boost tourism.

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Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP):

The Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP) is being implemented with the technical and financial assistance of the World Bank. This project aims to enhance the capacity of National Waterway-I (river Ganga) to enable movement of 1500-2000 tonne vessels.

Inland Waterways Infrastructure Development in North-East Region:

The government has sanctioned projects worth Rs. 1010 Crore for the development of inland waterways infrastructure in the North-East Region. These projects include the comprehensive development of NW-2 (the Brahmaputra).

Development of 16 New Waterways:

The government has approved the development of 16 new National Waterways (NWs) worth Rs. 267 Crore for the period 2022-23 to 2025-26. These new NWs will expand the inland waterways network and facilitate trade and transportation.

Promoting Green Technology:

To promote green technology in the maritime sector, a proposal for electric propelled technology vessels and hydrogen powered catamaran pax has been made. These initiatives will contribute to reducing the sector’s environmental footprint.

Lighthouse Tourism:

The Directorate General of Lighthouses and Lightships (DGLL) is promoting lighthouse tourism. Seventy-five lighthouses have been earmarked for tourism development, with facilities scheduled to be completed by December 2023. A Coffee Table Book of these 75 lighthouses will be launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in January 2024.

The progress made in these initiatives is a testament to the government’s commitment to transforming the Indian maritime sector into a modern, efficient, and sustainable industry that contributes significantly to the nation’s economic growth and development.

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