The Centre is working on doubling ship-breaking capacity at Alang yard in Gujarat, which would eventually double the employment opportunities, Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said on September 12.
Ship-breaking units at Alang in Bhavnagar district produce 3.5 million tonnes of steel by recycling nearly 200 ships each year, said Mr. Sonowal in his inaugural address at the international conference on 'Green Ship Recycling and Vehicle Scrapping' at Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar.
"The industry provides employment to 15,000 persons directly and to 1.5 lakh persons indirectly," the Union Ports, Shipping and Waterways Minister said.
"With the proposed expansion plan of doubling the capacity of yards, the employment opportunity will also get doubled, bringing more economic prosperity in the entire region," the Minister added.
On the occasion, Mr. Sonowal said all the stakeholders need to follow Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision on green ship recycling and vehicle scrapping very sincerely and effectively to protect the environment, ecology and biodiversity.
For the vehicle scrappage policy announced by the Prime Minister last year, Mr. Sonowal said his Ministry is doing a study to devise a strategy to promote the policy via coastal shipping.
He also announced that a regional trans-shipment terminal will be developed in Gujarat as a hub and spoke model under the policy.
Giving the status report of the ambitious Sagarmala project, which has been floated by the Centre to promote port-led development in India, Mr. Sonowal said out of 802 projects worth ₹5.45 lakh crore targeted to be executed by 2035, 270 projects, worth ₹1.12 lakh crore have been completed so far.
“Projects such as port modernisation, rail, road, cruise tourism, RO-RO ferry, Ro-Pax ferry, passenger jetties and skill development have been undertaken,” he said.
"74 projects worth ₹57,000 crore are being implemented in Gujarat under the Sagarmala programme. Out of which, 15 projects worth ₹9,000 crore have been completed, 33 projects worth ₹25,000 crore are under implementation and 26 projects worth ₹22,700 crore under development" he said.
"Out of total 74 projects, 11 projects worth ₹1,581 crore were partially funded by the Ministry. While Ro-Pax service between Ghogha and Hazira has already started, a similar service between Pipavav and Muldwarka has been sanctioned," he said.
On the occasion, Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel informed the audience that his government has already given permission to scrap nearly 1.75 lakh two-wheelers, 65,000 four-wheelers and 14,000 heavy-duty vehicles in the State.