The Ministry of Shipping is projecting a quantum jump in the volume of cargo and passengers moved through water transport from the current 5 per cent to 30 per cent in the next 15 years, which will open up a lot of opportunities in the maritime sector, particularly in shipbuilding under the ‘Make in India’ initiative of the Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi, according to industry sources.
Domestic shipyards would be able to build more coastal ships, barges and passenger vessels to meet the increased demand, they said.
The initiatives taken by the government, such as the Jal Vikas Marg and Sagarmala projects, would augment transportation through inland waterways, especially considering the recent approval for the development of 101 waterways across the country, which would increase the demand for dredgers and harbour crafts to improve infrastructure.
There is also a need for more vessels and ports to handle liquid and gas cargoes, experts said.
The Union Shipping Minister, Mr Nitin Gadkari, is keen on including the maritime sector in the ‘Make in India’ campaign to help create more job opportunities. The shipbuilding sector is a special area of focus. The Minister had recently asked the public sector Cochin Shipyard to increase its capacity, and also set up ship repair facilities at other ports.
Today, less than 10 per cent of Indian cargo is carried by Indian flagships, and below three per cent of the country’s foreign-going merchant ships are built in India. A majority of Indian ships proceed to foreign dry docks for periodical repairs, thereby reducing the stake of Indian shipyards in global shipbuilding to a negligible 0.3 per cent.
This post was written by Atlantic Admin