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AP with long coast set to lead country’s port-based development

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VISAKHAPATNAM : Asserting that the multi-modal transport system (MMTS) is the future of logistics, Union Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways Shri Sarbananda Sonowal has said Andhra Pradesh with its long coastline is poised to move ahead in the race for development.

In his keynote address at the valedictory of the two-day Global Investors Summit 2023 in Visakhapatnam on Saturday, he said AP has an important role to play in the port-led development of the country.

Under the Sagarmala Programme, more than 110 projects worth around 1.1 lakh crore have been identified for implementation in AP. Out of them, 35 projects worth 32,000 crores have already been completed and 14 projects worth 2,500 crores are in progress. For the uplift of the fisherman community, five fishing harbour projects worth 1,500 crores have been sanctioned for AP under the Sagarmala Programme, he said.

“As far as Visakhapatnam port is concerned, it has shown a healthy cargo growth of over 7.5% this financial year. Following the direction from the Union Ministry, the port is in the process of transforming into a landlord port. Jawaharlal Nehru Port Authority (JNPA) has completely been transformed into a landlord port in 2022 and other ports may comply by 2030,” he said.

Six projects were awarded to Vizag port in January 2023 with an investment of 658 crores and another six projects are in the pipeline with and investment potential of 1,250 crores. Completion of these projects will increase the port capacity by about 37 million tonnes per annum, he added.

The Ministry of Ports with the Ministry of Fishing is upgrading the fishing harbours all over India to international standards and 31 of which are being developed under the Sagarmala Programme and Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana.

“Fishing harbour at Visakhapatnam is being upgraded at a cost of 151 crores, which will improve the quality of life of the local fishermen. Visakhapatnam port is nearing completion of international cruise terminal with an investment of 97 crores and it is likely to be operational by April 2023,” he said.

The Ministry of Ports has set up a centre of excellence in maritime and shipbuilding, a first of its kind in Asia with 18 laboratories, with an aim to bridge the skill gap between the academics and industrial requirements at the Indian Maritime University campus in Visakhapatnam, he added.

Union Minister for Tourism and Culture G Kishan Reddy said Andhra Pradesh has a competitive advantage in sectors such as marine products and shrimp, drugs and pharmaceuticals, electronics, petroleum, engineering goods, etc.

“The total investment cost for Visakhapatnam smart city is 3,000 crore. There is a clear opportunity for the State and Centre to work together in taking AP to new heights. This will be in the true spirit of competitive federalism where States are competing to attract investments and build infrastructure. The Centre has been continuously supporting AP to enable it to achieve growth,” he said

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