By NewsGram Staff Writer
New Delhi: “Inland Waterways is economically most viable sector and, as such, it should be an integral part of infrastructure development in the country,” Highways and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari said during an event on Tuesday.
Speaking during the inaugural address at the ‘National Conference on Inland Waterways: Issues, Options and Strategies’, Gadkari said, “The development of inland waterways would lower the logistics cost of production and, in turn, make the prices of the products more competitive in the global market. ” Moreover, this sector has a huge potential for generating employment for the youth, he added.
Mentioning the growing enthusiasm among investors for the PPP model in the road sector, Gadkari said that the possibility of applying this model in inland waterways sector is being studied.
He further said that the feasibility of joint ventures are also being explored as Centre and State Governments have to work together to bring this sector in the forefront of infrastructure development.
Government plans to establish facilities for ship-building and ship-repairing at Guwahati, Kandla and Andaman & Nicobar in near future, the minister added.
In the same vein, 300 light houses and 1100 islands would be developed as tourist hubs.
He also expressed the hope that the Bill for the declaration of 101 waterways as National Waterways would have the passage in the forthcoming session of the Parliament.