NEW DELHI: India will invest USD 82 billion in port projects by 2035, raise share of clean renewable energy source in maritime sector, develop waterways and boost tourism around lighthouses as part of port-led development, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday.
Speaking at the Maritime India Summit, he invited global investors to invest in Indian ports, shipyards and waterways. He said that more than 574 projects costing USD 82 billion or Rs 6 lakh crore have been identified for implementation between 2015 and 2035 under the Sagarmala Project.
The government, he said, is looking to operationalise 23 waterways by 2030. “Ours is a government that is investing in waterways in a way that was never seen before. Domestic waterways are found to be cost effective and environment friendly ways of transporting freight,” he said.
Also, plans have been drawn for developing tourism on land adjacent to 78 out of 189 lighthouses on Indian coastline. “This with the objective of enhancing development of the existing lighthouses and its surrounding areas into unique maritime tourism landmarks,” he said adding the government has also initiated holistic development of islands.
Alongside, the usage of clean renewable energy in the maritime sector is being raised. “We are in the process of installing solar and wind based power systems in all the major ports across the country. We aim to increase usage of renewable energy to more than 60 per cent of all energy by 2030 in three phases across Indian ports,” he said.
Modi said, Indian ports have reduced waiting time for inbound and outbound cargo. “India is very serious about growing in the maritime sector and emerging as a leading Blue Economy of the world,” he said.
The government of India is also focusing on the domestic shipbuilding and ship repair market, Modi said adding to encourage domestic shipbuilding, a Shipbuilding Financial Assistance Policy for Indian Shipyards has been approved.
“India’s long coastline awaits you. India’s hardworking people await you. Invest in our ports. Invest in our people. Let India be your preferred trade destination. Let Indian ports be your port of call for trade and commerce,” he added.