Maritime sector has the potential to become economic driver, say experts

‘Time ripe to announce national policy on maritime economy’

November 06, 2015 12:00 am | Updated 05:41 am IST - VISAKHAPATNAM:

Few are aware of the country’s rich maritime history, says Regional Director of NFM, Chennai, Commodore (Retd.) S. Sekhar. —Photo: K.R. Deepak

Few are aware of the country’s rich maritime history, says Regional Director of NFM, Chennai, Commodore (Retd.) S. Sekhar. —Photo: K.R. Deepak

There is a need to change the common man’s disposition to sea and steps have to be initiated to revive general interest in the maritime sector, which has the potential to trigger economic development and generate employment.

“Coastal shipping of bulk cargo will cost about a third of what it costs to transport it overland and has the potential to generate employment along the coastline,” CEO of Vizag Seaports Ragam Kishore said speaking on the opportunities and challenges in maritime logistics at the Conference on ‘Approach to Integrated Maritime Systems’ organised jointly by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the National Maritime Foundation (NMF) here on Thursday.

“With resources on land being limited and inadequate to feed the growing population, we have to utilise living resources like fish and non-living resources like minerals and petroleum from the waters,” Chairman and Managing Director of Hindustan Shipyard Limited Rear Admiral (Retd.) N.K. Mishra said delivering the keynote address. “The time is ripe to announce a national policy on maritime economy and the government should take steps to revise ocean policy of 1982,” he said.

“Few are aware of the country’s rich maritime history, of how India’s trade with Asian nations flourished over the seas from the time of Raja Rajendra Chola,” Regional Director of National Maritime Foundation, Chennai, Commodore (Retd.) S. Sekhar said.

About 1,000 years ago, Rajendra Chola had established the dominance of India on the seas, ensuring prosperity of the trade and the country. Today few are aware of India’s maritime history or interests.

Traditionally, mercantile aspirations fuelled maritime ambitions, Director, Maritime Warfare Centre (Visakhapatnam), Cmde. Srikant B. Kesunur said.

He called upon the industry to be proactive and initiate steps to promote awareness on maritime sector like sponsoring events and recognising maritime heroes.

The country should encourage local talent to find economical technological solutions to trigger our development needs, executive director, Centre for Advancement of Science, Technology, Law, and Engineering, Rao Tatavarti, said and showcased some of the technological innovations by students of Gayatri Vidya Parishad under his tutelage.

A large number of experts from Navy, industry, and academics participated.

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