Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal highlights growth in India’s Inland Waterways at GMIS 2023 Roadshow

Inland waterways
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Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways and Ayush, Sarbananda Sonowal, while inaugurating the roadshow on Global Maritime India Summit, 2023 (GMIS) said that inland waterways as an alternative means of transport has gained growth under the visionary leadership of PM Narendra Modi.

There has been investment of around ₹ 5200 crores in inland waterways connectivity since 2014. This investment increased by over 200% in 9 years compared to the previous 28 years. He stressed the urgency of developing inland waterways to unlock India’s economic potential.

Inland waterways being the most efficient and economical means of transport possess the ability to connect remote areas of India. Investment in inland waterways aims to create economic activities with neighboring countries and boost trade in South Asia.

Sarbananda Sonowal also emphasized on the modernization of ports to international standards. Modernizing ports will benefit coastal communities, districts and the nation as a whole. This effort promotes industrialization, manufacturing and ease of doing business.

Other dignitaries who spoke during the roadshow on Global Maritime India Summit, 2023 include Parimal Suklabaidya (Minister of Transport, Govt. of Assam), Bimal Borah (Minister of Industries & Commerce, Govt of Assam), Mama Natung (Minister of Water Resources, Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh), Temjenmenba (MLA, Govt of Nagaland), T.K. Ramachandran (Secretary, MoPSW) among others.

Representatives from Bhutan, Phurpa Tshering (Vice Consul, Royal Bhutanese Consulate General, Guwahati) and Bangladesh, Ruhul Amin (Assistant High Commissioner, Bangladesh in Guwahati) also participated in the event.

Inland waterways

The Secretary, MoPSW, during his speech highlighted the North-east’s potential for growth in the Asia Pacific region. He informed that 20 projects have been identified to enhance connectivity. According to him, eastern waterways grid development will benefit South Asian countries like Myanmar, Malaysia, and Thailand.

The Chairman of IWAI mentioned the extraordinary growth in cargo movement on National Waterways. Cargo transported through waterways increased by 315% since 2014-15. Representatives from Bangladesh and Bhutan stressed on the importance of a collective maritime vision and regional cooperation.

The event held in Guwahati featured technical, ministerial, and trade sessions. GMIS 2023 main event will be held from October 17-19, 2023, in Delhi. Previous roadshows were held in Kolkata, Mangalore, Vishakhapatnam, and Goa, with upcoming ones in Chennai, Bhubaneswar, Varanasi, Kochi, Ahmedabad, and Bangalore.

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