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June 17, 2024
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PM Modi launches infrastructure projects worth ₹4,000 crore in Kerala

These projects — the New Dry Dock (NDD) at Cochin Shipyard Ltd (CSL), the International Ship Repair Facility (ISRF) of CSL, and the Indian Oil Corp Ltd’s LPG Import Terminal at Puthuvypeen, Kochi — are pivotal in advancing the government’s aim to revolutionize India’s ports, shipping, and waterways sector by enhancing capacity and self-reliance.

The New Dry Dock at CSL, costing around 1,800 crore, is a testament to India’s engineering capabilities. This large infrastructure, one of the biggest in the region, can accommodate future aircraft carriers and large commercial vessels. The ISRF, built at a cost of about 970 crore, will modernize CSL’s ship repair capabilities and help transform Kochi into a major ship repair hub.

Indian Oil’s LPG Import Terminal, constructed for about 1,236 crore, will ensure a consistent LPG supply in the region, enhancing India’s energy accessibility.

These projects will not only elevate India’s shipbuilding and repair capacities but also invigorate energy infrastructure growth, reduce logistics costs, and open up numerous domestic and international business opportunities.

The event was attended by Kerala’s governor Arif Mohammed Khan, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Union minister for ports, shipping and waterways Sarbananda Sonowal, among others

In his address, PM Modi underscored the importance of states in India’s journey towards becoming a ‘Viksit Bharat‘ during the Amrit Kaal. He reflected on the historical significance of ports in India’s prosperity and envisioned their crucial role in the current era as India emerges as a key player in global trade.

The prime minister highlighted the government’s efforts to bolster port cities like Kochi, including augmenting port capacity, investing in infrastructure, and enhancing connectivity under the Sagarmala Project. The addition of shipbuilding, ship repairing, and the LPG import terminal is set to spur development in Kerala and the southern region. 

PM Modi also expressed pride in the construction of the ‘Made in India’ aircraft carrier INS Vikrant at the Kochi Shipyard, noting that the new facilities will significantly amplify the shipyard’s capabilities.

He pointed out the sector’s reforms over the last decade, which have attracted new investments and created job opportunities. He cited the increase in the number of Indian seafarers by 140% due to regulatory reforms and the growth in passenger and cargo transport through inland waterways.

He highlighted the impressive double-digit annual growth of Indian ports in the last decade, a significant improvement from the past when ships endured long waits and slow unloading times. PM Modi stressed that India’s enhanced ship-turnaround time now surpasses many developed nations.

The prime minister also discussed India’s role in global trade, particularly the agreements made during India’s G20 Presidency regarding the Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor. This corridor is expected to bolster India’s coastal economy and contribute to the vision of Viksit Bharat. He also mentioned the Maritime Amrit Kaal Vision, a roadmap to strengthen India’s maritime prowess.

PM Modi remarked on the new dry dock, terming it a national pride that will facilitate docking of large vessels, enhance shipbuilding and repair, reduce foreign dependency, and conserve foreign exchange. The International Ship Repair Facility will elevate Kochi as a prime ship repair centre in India and Asia. The new LPG Import Terminal will meet the LPG needs of multiple regions, supporting local industries, economic activities, and job creation.

PM Modi also acknowledged the significant role of the fishermen community in the blue economy and port-led development. He credited the increase in fish production and exports over the last decade to initiatives like PM Matsya Sampada Yojna, modernized boats subsidies, and Kisan Credit Cards for fishermen. He emphasized that these developments in the seafood processing sector will substantially raise fishermen’s incomes and improve their lives.

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Published: 17 Jan 2024, 04:25 PM IST

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