Shri Rajnath Singh and Shri Nitin Gadkari inaugurated an alternate sea route to Baratang Island.
They also laid the foundation stone for extension of dry dock in Port Blair, and construction of an additional jetty along with extension of Berthing Jetty in Neil Island at an event in Port Blair in A and N Islands yesterday.
Shri Rajnath Singh also mentioned that earlier A & N Islands had only one national highway, but in the last three years 7 NHs have come up in A & N Islands.
He also said the ‘blue economy’ which thrives in A & N Islands contributes about one trillion dollars to the economy.
Speaking on the occasion Shri Gadkari said that the new projects will now make it possible for repairing ships in A & N Islands itself instead of sending them to faraway and foreign places for repair, which also becomes costly.
He said, these islands have a huge potential for ship building and ship repair industry.
He said, the Ministry is focussing on ‘Make in India’ programme under the Sagarmala Project. Efforts are on to bring in new technology for manufacturing ships in the country.
Speaking about the shipping sector, the Shri Gadkari said, most of the ships in A & N Islands are old and need to be replaced. He announced that 14 new ships will be added in A & N islands by 2020.
The Minister further stated that under Sagarmala Project around Rs 4 lakh crores have been earmarked for port-road connectivity, port-rail connectivity, modernisation and mechanisation of ports.
He further stated, India’s 7300 km long coastline and rivers have potential for big-scale development of cost effective waterways transportation which will bring down logistics cost significantly and also be a convenient mode of transportation.
Speaking about power generation in A & N Islands, he said diesel generated power causes environmental pollution and needs to be replaced.
Instead, development of hydel, solar and wind power in A & N Islands must be explored. As a step towards curbing pollution caused by diesel power generation, plans are being made to set up LNG and CNG based power in the Islands soon.
Shri Gadkari also said that development of cruise terminals will further boost tourism in the A & N Islands.
He urged private investors for developing cruise tourism in the islands. The Minister said, tourism could further be boosted through Sagarmala Project which will ultimately generate employment.
He assured of exploring ways to make cruise tourism a part of Sagaramala Project for extending benefits.
This apart, Shri Gadkari said the development of services of amphibious vehicles is ideal for the islands, and urged for initiatives in that direction.
Dredging upto 5m would help in berthing higher draft vessels , especially cargo ships. This would enable abundance supply of vegetables and other cargo to and from the island.
The project would hence help in economic development of the area by promoting tourism and would also help in optimal utilization of available resources. The project is expected to be complete by March 2018.
The extension of Dry Dock -II at Port Blair will help augment the available ship building and ship repair facilities. The project is expected to be complete by September 2019.
With inputs from: The New Kerela
Image link : Internet sources