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Odisha has potential to grow as coastal shipping hub: Chief Secretary

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BHUBANESWAR : Odisha has strategic potential to grow as a coastal shipping hub, said Chief Secretary of Odisha Mr. Suresh Chandra Mohapatra on Tuesday.

Mohapatra said this while inaugurating the two-day Summit on Prime Minister Gati-Shakti Multimodal Maritime organized under the joint aegis of Paradip Port Authority, State and Central Government.

Odisha is a maritime State and has a strategic location for coastal shipping. Our coastal line is quite suitable for the development of deep ports. The Eastern part of India including Odisha is growing at a fast rate. Odisha is supplying thermal coal, iron ore and manganese to a large number of States in India. The growth rate will be faster in coming years,” said Mohapatra.

He said that the PM Gati-Shakti is a Pan-Indian platform that would address the critical issues of reducing the logistic cost of mineral transport substantially and would accelerate the growth of coastal shipping.

“It is a comprehensive and converged platform of all the related departments in both State and Central Government along with other major stakeholders,” Mohapatra added.

With the uploading of information by all concerned, the planning and decision-making for the sector would be more perfect and faster. It would also bring real ease of doing business for the investors.

“Odisha would soon become one of the biggest hubs in the coastal shipping of minerals and finished products,” Mohapatra opined.

Mahapatra assured that State Government would extend all help for the implementation of the recommendations of this two-day Summit.

Joining the inaugural session as Guest of honour, Divisional Railway Manager Rinkesh Roy said, “East coast railway is the No-1 freight loading zone in the entire Railways. Paradeep is the 2nd largest port in terms of the volume handled through the rail link network. The region has a huge mining and industrial belt”.

He said that the east coast railway was on its path for augmentation of its rail network in Odisha from mining and industrial points to the port.

Addressing the summit, Joint Secretary Sagarmala Projects of Government of India Bhusan Kumar gave a blueprint of the converged mechanism put in place for the successful implementation of GatiShakti projects.

He said that the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways prioritized the improvement of connectivity to more than 50 plus non-major operative Ports through PMGatiShakti.

In this comprehensive port connectivity plan, more than 107 connectivity gaps were identified for abridging port connectivity.

Jayant Singh, Vice Chairman of Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) said “Inland waterways is the low-hanging fruit in seamless multimodal transportation. Odisha with its long stretches of water mass across different regions possesses immense potential for the development of inland waterways.”

Chairman Paradeep Port Trust PL Haranadh said that Paradip Port in its 56 years of cargo is handling service would attain a record 125 MMT annual traffic in FY 2022-23.

“During the Amrit Kal, Paradip will be the Port of the Millennium by having a capacity of more than 500 MMT by 2047,” he added.

PM Gati-Shakti would be the prime mover of this transformation.

Deputy Chairman Paradeep Port Trust AK Bose presented the past, present and future prospects of Paradeep Port.

The inaugural session was followed by two technical sessions namely Gati-Shakti platform- Creating synergy among departments; and, Potential opportunities in logistic eco-system for sustainable industrial development.

The veteran subject experts from Freight Corridor Corporation of India, Ministry of Commerce and Transport Government of India, Commissionerate of Customs, Steel Authority of India, Tata Steels, Mahanadi Coal Field, JM Baxi, IFFCO, Samsara Shipping led the deliberations in these two sessions.

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