India needs to learn from its history and focus on development of shipping and integrated ports to achieve prosperity.

Integrated port development was closely tied to the prosperity of India, Captain Sriram Ravi Chander of VCTPL said speaking at a round-table conducted here by regional development forum – Gravity 2.0. – on Saturday.

There was a need for competition among the various ports in India for efficiency and efficient capacity building rather than redundant capacity building, he said.Speaking on the occasion, Rajan Iyer, professor of MIT Institute of Design, suggested that a few key activities be taken up to promote coastal shipping for spreading prosperity in the Visakhapatnam-Rajahmundry- Vijayawada region.

There is a need to promote coastal and inland shipping as energy efficient, environmentally-friendly mode of transport along the coast, speakers felt at the round-table. Small-scale ship building units should be established along the coast near Kakinada for designing and manufacturing barges and river-sea vessels, Mr. M Gopal Raju said.

Calling for promoting entrepreneurship among the youth, Murali Bulusu urged the senior professionals in the field to connect with fresh engineering and managing graduates in places like Rajahmundry to help them establish units focused on coastal and inland shipping. Many well-known entrepreneurs and experienced naval professionals, including KK Chand and B Viswanadham, participated.

As a next step, Gravity 2.0 has announced the formation of a special interest group for the promotion of coastal and inland shipping, with an aim to drawing up a concrete plan for initiating a regular liner service for passengers and freight connecting the key ports along the VRV coast within the next 4 months.