Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on 2 March that India would invest $ 82 billion in port projects by 2035, raising the share of clean renewable energy sources in the maritime sector. He spoke about developing waterways and boosting tourism around lighthouses as part of port-led development.
Speaking at the Maritime India Summit, the prime minister invited global investors to invest in Indian ports, shipyards and waterways.
His government has identified more than 574 projects costing $ 82 billion or Rs 6 lakh crore for implementation between 2015 and 2035 under the Sagarmala Project, Modi said. 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,” the prime minister said.
“This with the objective of enhancing the development of the existing lighthouses and its surrounding areas into unique maritime tourism landmarks,” Modi said adding the government has initiated holistic development of islands.
Alongside, the government is encouraging the use of clean renewable energy in the maritime sector. “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% of all energy by 2030 in three phases across Indian ports,” he said.
Modi said Indian ports had 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 has drawn plans for developing tourism on land adjacent to 78 out of 189 lighthouses on the Indian coastline.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched Sagar Manthan Mercantile Marine Domain that envisages receiving oceanic data among others. Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways Mansukh Mandaviya said India aspired to grab at least 50% of the global ship recycling business after the legislation of the Recycling of Ship Act 2019.