Millennium Post

Waterways/Coastal transport to reach 100 million in five years: DG shipping

New Delhi: The Government of India has taken several initiatives to drive India's maritime and logistics sector and boost the connectivity of its hinterland with its trade partners globally. ASSOCHAM India is taking this initiative forward and invited stakeholders to discuss the Augmenting Trade Potential Through Inland Waterways and Coastal Shipping.

In his address speech Amitabh Kumar, Director General Shipping, Govt of India said "the linkage of inland waterways to coastal waterways is not only time being but essential. Embarking the major project of shifting cargos from rail and road to inland waterways. There is a possibility of increasing the navigable waterways if we use the canal system to it. We have 1429 vessels registered under the merchant shipping act. More than 900 vessels are operating at coastal routes"

He pointed out "Problem with the shipping industry is even if the cargos are available, the routes are not financially viable. There is the dearth of goods that need to be transported. There is enough produce available in the hinterland to fill thousands and thousands of ships. Logistics has the potential to be the biggest game-changer for India agriculture. What we lack in India is a good agglomeration service for small producers. The shipping industry is not known for engaging in marketing. We need to set up an organization which can do marketing.

He also added, "Transportation can be made multimodal mode. It will give us an impetus to start and provide end to end solution. In the next 5 years, the total transportation in the coastal goods will be increased from the present 2 million to 100 million and the requirement of 20000 trans vessels will increase from 1-100."

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