October 27, 2020: Stating that the Union Government is concentrating on blue economy and there is a plan to make this economy of at least Rs 5 to Rs 6 lakh crores, Union Minister for Road, Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari said for this there is a need of ships with new designs which can go 100 nautical miles in the sea for fishing.
He was speaking after virtually unveiling the plaque for the foundation stone of construction of Common Facility Center (CFC) for Konkan Maritime Cluster at Verna Industrial Estate, Verna.
Speaking further Gadkari said there is a huge potential for the blue economy. This sector needs news ships, technology and engines. He informed that Government is continuously working to use methanol or LNG as a fuel in ships and other water transport for pollution free as well as cost effective mode of transport.
“We should practice successful international practices, adapt to new technology and innovations. Goa has an advantage to become a manufacturing hub of international standards for maritime sector and blue economy,” he said.
“Konkan Maritime Cluster will qualitatively contribute in the making of New India and Atmanirbhar Bharat”, he opined.
“This is a golden opportunity for the development of Goa. Goa can be a growth centre for marine hub and maritime cluster which is a need for future
India and this will be a historical contribution by Goa for the country”, Gadkari said.
“Konkan Maritime Cluster will be a growth engine for the development of Goa creating employment potential for thousands of Goan youth”, he added.
“Goa has a lot of importance and long history to maritime sector. This is the right time to take innovation, technology, research and successful practices in marine sector all over the world that need to be implemented in our country”, Gadkari said.
Chief Minister Pramod Sawant while remaining present in person for the function said, “With laying of foundation stone of CFC for Konkan Maritime Cluster on the auspicious occasion of Dussehra, Goa has made Simollanghan (a ritual of Dussehra) in the Industrial Sector of the State. Maritime and shipping industry is not new for Goa. It was in force from Portuguese era, and time to time development has taken place in this industry.”
“Konkan Maritime Cluster is a proud moment for every Goan and because of this Goan maritime sector will reach across the world,” he said.
“Goa has 11 rivers and one major and one minor port but optimum utilisation of these waterways and ports is very minimum. There is a wrong mindset among many that Goan ports are only for coal business which needs to be changed by other activities and business,” Sawant said.
“Government is not creating infrastructural projects for the coal industry. There is no need of agitation because of that. Development of ports and other infrastructure is for the use of different types of industries imports and exports. Goa has lot of scope, capabilities and manpower to make use of waterways and ports for different types of industry,” he said.
By using the waterways Goa’s tourism industry can be connected to Dabolim Airport and government is planning to develop same by private partnership. Government is ready to develop various projects on PPP model. Government is ready to welcome textile, agriculture, fishing, food processing and various types of clusters in the State which will boost economy and create employment. he said.
Government alone can’t increase economy and employment but various sectors and industries should come forward for that. Government is ready to give required support. Goa has a lot of scope for blue industry. “This industry should come forward and approach the government,” he said.
Union Minister of State for Shipping, Chemical and Fertilisers, Mansukh Mandviya addressing virtually said, “Inland waterways are developing at fast pace in the country and in coming days to boost and promote coastal shipping, government will come with a bill in the parliament by which coastal transportation in the country will increase. Government is working to create multi modes transportation with the use of road ways, inland waterways, and railways.”
Minister for Industries and Health, Vishvajit Rane who was present in person said, “Evolution and change has to come and we need to move fast and fast track with change in order to take the shipping industry which is very old industry in State. We need to take this industry to a different level. Konkan Martime Cluster will not only change the dynamics but also bring more employment. While looking at the bridges, road network and various backbone infrastructures will help various industries.”
“Goa will march forward with Konkan Maritime Cluster. Goa is also selected for medical device park. Time has come to make a change and maximum exploitation in a very positive manner, with positive thinking and moving forward constantly by thinking differently, if we have to succeed,” he added.
Director General Shipping, Amitabh Kumar also spoke.