Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said the government was keenly working on strengthening the maritime sector, both on defence and economic fronts, for the overall development of the country.
Speaking after inaugurating several completed projects and launching new ones related to New Mangalore Port Authority (NMPA) and Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd., (MRPL) here, Mr. Modi noted the country’s first indigenously built aircraft carrier, INS Vikranth, was dedicated to the nation in Kochi a few hours before the Mangaluru programme by him. Immediately thereafter, he was launching projects worth ₹3,800 crore connected to the port in Mangaluru, he said.
Mr. Modi said the government was strengthening port-related infrastructure in a big way realising the potential of ports. Nearly 250 new projects were identified for port connectivity across the country while several were already completed. Because of these initiatives, the capacity of Indian ports had doubled in the last eight years — that was equal to the capacities created since the Independence till 2014.
He further said there was a significant increase in coastal traffic over the years with government efforts. The movement of coastal cargo had become easier due to increased facilities and resources at ports. The government was also keen on green growth and green job creation, Mr. Modi said adding that focus on utilisation of natural gas imported through ports helps in green development.
‘Double engine’ govt.
The Prime Minister also spoke about development in Karnataka through the “double engine” government. Highway projects worth ₹70,000 crore were complete in eight years while projects worth ₹1 lakh crore were under progress. Railways had also witnessed four times growth while railway electrification was being implemented in a speedy manner.
Focus was on exploiting the potential of 7,500-km coastline of the country by developing tourism and allied industries. With economic growth, people in the country too could afford cruise tourism while ports were prepared to handle cruise vessels. The NMPA had handled over 25,000 cruise tourists in the last season, he noted.
Revised CRZ master plan
Chief Minister Basavaraja Bommai said the Union government had approved the revised draft Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) master plan for Karnataka. He said the approval would help tourism development in coastal Karnataka on the lines of Goa. The new plan was by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change as per the 2019 notification. Mr. Bommai said the Union government had also approved a port at Majali in Uttara Kannada district at a cost of ₹350 crore.