The country needs more ports and more trade under the Indian flag, says member of VPT

The prosperity of the city is only because of the port and maritime trade and it is a matter of pride that the port could berth a Cape size vessel, which has put us on the international map, member of Visakhapatnam Port Trust G. Pattabhiramayya said.

“The country needs more ports and more trade under the Indian flag, we are hardly carrying eight to 10 per cent of the cargo, most of the sea cargo is being shipped on foreign carriers,” president of Visakhapatnam Steamship Agents Association and the senior-most personality from maritime trade in the city said.

While India has the largest number of merchant seafarers in the world most of them are employed by carriers under different flags and there are very few Indian flag carriers, Head of Survey Indian Register of Shipping, Visakhapatnam, Amit Bhatnagar said. There was a need to popularise the maritime sector among all sections of society, he said.

While Indian seafarers are manning ships of all flags, people in general are unaware of careers in the maritime sector, Deputy Conservator of Visakhapatnam Port S Mathur said. The day marks the first wholly Indian owned ship SS Loyalty set sail from Mumbai to London in 1919. From 1964 April 5, has been marked as the Flag Day of Indian Merchant Navy and is celebrated as National Maritime Day, he added.

With such a long coastline India should have a flourishing coastal shipping, which unfortunately has not taken root, Chairman and Managing Director Dredging Corporation of India Capt D.K. Mohanty said. The ports need to become more user-friendly in view of the growing competition, he added. Students, who won in competitions organised as a run up to the celebrations, were given away awards.

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