Guwahati, Aug 31: The roadshow on Global Maritime India Summit, 2023 (GMIS) was ceremonially inaugurated by the Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways and Ayush, Sarbananda Sonowal in Guwahati on Thursday.
Pitching the role of GMIS, 2023, the Union Minister, Sarbananda Sonowal highlighted how the role of inland waterways has evolved as an alternative mode of transportation, especially under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
On this occasion, the Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said, “Inland waterways are powering the growth of the Indian economy. Under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji, the inland waterways sector has received a tremendous boost as govt has invested ₹5200 crores since 2014. This is a significant jump of more than 200% in the amount of investment made by the government in a span of 9 years over investments made in the previous 28 years. This drives home the utmost urgency with which the inland waterways is being developed under the Modi government. This clean, efficient & economical mode of transportation will be pivotal in unlocking the economic potential of the hinterland of India. By investing in the inland waterways and empowering our rich and complex waterways system, we are in the process of creating a collaborative ecosystem for the industry that will foster greater cooperation among our neighbouring countries. This is going to unlock huge trade and commerce potential for all the countries as well as states of India in the south Asia region.”
Highlighting the role of port led development, Sarbananda Sonowal said, “Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji, the government aims to bring Indian ports to global standard, facilitating greater industrialisation, manufacturing and ease of doing business. India stands as one of the swiftest expanding maritime nations, and as Indians, we take immense pride in being a part of this era marked by evolution and transformation. Guided by the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, we have not only acquired the necessary skills but also the strength to excel on the global stage. By modernising the ports of India, India will ensure advancement of coastal communities, coastal districts, and the entire nation. By elevating Indian ports to global standards, fostering a port-driven economy that promotes increased industrialisation, manufacturing, and improved ease of doing business.”
Notable projects include the Jalmarg Vikas, and the Arth Ganga projects, backed by an impressive budget of ₹4,634 crores. Moreover, the River Brahmaputra (NW-2) has received ₹474 crores for its development in 2020-21.Significant allocations also extend to ₹208 crores for a Ship Repair facility at Pandu. This funding further stretches to the development of new National Waterways like River Barak (NW-16) and the Indo-Bangladesh Protocol Route at ₹148 crores, and a collective ₹267 crores for NW-3, NW-4, NW-5, and 13 other New National Waterways.This increased funding has catalysed a suite of new initiatives for the comprehensive development of National Waterways.
The event witnessed three sessions including a technical session on infrastructure where technical experts from the Northeast states deliberated, Ministers Session as well as a dedicated session on trade where leaders and experts deliberated on opportunities as well as possibilities for economic growth and regional trade via rich system of inland waterways. Post inaugural session, the trade talks took place where trade, business bodies will engage to explore opportunities in the inland waterways in the region.
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