NEW DELHI : India needs to work towards reducing the cost of fuel to boost inland water transport within the country, MoRTH Shri Nitin Gadkari said recently.
Addressing the third edition of the Global Maritime India Summit 2023 in Mumbai via video conference, Gadkari said India should start exploring the use of ethanol as fuel for inland waterways.
He added that the government is committed to fostering partnerships to drive further growth in the inland water transport sector and several national waterways are proposed under the public-private partnership (PPP) model.
Gadkari also suggested that Cochin Shipyard should acquire the best technology in the world and start manufacturing different types of ships, catamaran, and hovercraft in the country.
The three-day mega maritime event held in Mumbai from October 17-19.
“We are committed to fostering public-private partnership (PPP) to drive further growth in the inland water transport sector. Several national waterways are proposed under the PPP model.
Another major initiative, which has been taken by the government is the Sagarmala project with port modernisation and new port development, port connectivity investment, port-led industrialisation and coastal community development as its four pillars,” Gadkari said.
He also said that the objective of the Sagarmala project is to reduce the logistic cost, which is 14 percent of the GDP compared to 8 percent of GDP in developed countries and take maximum advantage of India’s vast 7500 kilometre-long coastline and 1400 kilometres of potential waterways.
“The development of waterways is very important for the development of Bharat,” he added . “The Global Maritime India Summit 2023 is a platform for India to showcase its strength and to encourage global maritime stakeholders. This is an opportunity for India to take a leading role in shaping the future of the global maritime industry,” Gadkari said.
He further said,” As we look to the future, we should remain committed to encouraging innovation and collaboration to achieve greater success.”
Stating that he was expecting Cochin Shipyard to develop all types of new technology available in the world– hydrogen, electric, methanol or anything, he said that new changes and new technology are very important for the country.
“The futuristic development and futuristic technology are the vision of the country. I feel that these initiatives will reduce our dependency on fossil fuel and minimise environmental impact,” he noted.
Urging the CSL to go for the best technology in the world and start manufacturing different types of ships at home, he said such a move would help reduce the cost of a particular ship.
Gadkari also stressed the need for the shipbuilder to collaborate with the domestic automobile industry for engines which can be used for catamarans and hovercraft and can run on ethanol, methanol, bio-CNG or bio-LNG, hydrogen and electricity.