The Minister of State for Shipping (I/C), Mr Mansukh Mandaviya, chaired the three-day (February 28-March 1, 2020) Ports Review Meeting – ‘Chintan Baithak’ in Mamallapuram, Tamil Nadu, which concluded on Sunday. Chairpersons of all Major Ports of India, senior officials of the Ministry of Shipping, including Secretary, Shipping, Mr Gopal Krishna, and other officials of Major Ports attended the meeting.
In the meeting, detailed contemplation on various matters for improving the performance of the Major Ports, strengthening Major Ports to directly compete with private or non-major ports,port modernisation, implementing e-governance to make ports faceless and paperless, developing India as ‘transhipment hub’ and Vision-2030 for Maritime Sector was done.
On the second day of ‘Chintan Baithak’, the Vice-President of India, Mr M. Venkaiah Naidu, interacted and motivated the officials. He called on the Chairpersons and administrators of ports across the country to make gateway facilities more energy-efficient and environment-friendly. He stressed that such efforts were needed to counter climate change, one of the biggest challenges faced by the world.
The Vice-President stressed upon the need to harness India’s vast coast for the sustainable growth and development of the country.
Appreciating the contributions of India’s 7,516 km long coast, its 12 Major Ports and 200 non-major ports to the nation’s growth story, he opined that India has an excellent opportunity for port-led development as ports were inevitable for exports and imports.
He also appreciated the Sagarmala port-led development initiated by the government of India and said that it was the best step towards creating greenfield ports, modernising the existing ports, and also for empowering the coastal community by generating employment opportunities.
The Vice-President advised the ports to adopt best practices to effectively utilise their financial resources to derive maximum benefits. For this to happen he suggested them to reduce logistics cost, dredging expenditure and also improve turnaround time. “We need to create more transhipment hubs on either side of the coasts,” he added.
He asked the Chairpersons to transform ports into lighthouses for the citizens by taking lead in upgrading infrastructure in the nearby localities in towns and lend support to promote the local culture, arts, and heritage. He called for developing all Indian ports on par with other global ports and said that the creation of world-class infrastructure at ports was important for India to become $ 5 trillion economy.
Describing community coastal community development as an essential component of port-led development, the Vice-President asked all administrators and managers to concentrate more on CSR activities and take care of local communities by providing skills to local youth so that they grab employment opportunities.
The Vice-President asked ports to take an active part in programmes such as Swachh Bharat and extend support to local authorities in maintaining the cleanliness of the city or town.
During the ‘Chintan Baithak’, Mr Mansukh Mandaviya actively interacted with the Chairpersons, officials and gave a vision of ‘Smart, Sustainable and Safe Ports of India’. Chairpersons of all Major Ports presented their respective ports performance with innovative measures, significant achievements, overall financial condition, future planning for the development of ports. During the Ports Review Meeting, Chairpersons also apprised the Minister of Shipping about the issues in which Ministry-level interventions are required. Mr Mandaviya solved various challenges faced by the ports in the meetings and assured all necessary support for the development of ports. He encouraged ports to implement the best practices followed worldwide in the maritime sector.
The ‘Baithak’ was an endeavour towards discussing and finding solutions to various challenges being faced by the ports and mapping out the prospects of growth and development of ports in India.