Government to set up bureau of port security soon: Sarbananda Sonowal

New Delhi: Union Minister for Ports, Shipping, and Waterways, Sarbananda Sonowal, on Saturday said that the government intends to set up a dedicated Bureau of Port Security to bolster security across India’s ports. 

Speaking at the 19th Maritime States Development Council (MSDC) meeting in Kevadia, Gujarat, Sonowal outlined the government’s ambitious plans, including proposals for hydrogen hubs through collaborations between central and state government ports. He said that Deendayal Port Authority has already finalised MoUs worth 1.68 lakh crore for this venture.

Sonowal also emphasized India’s aim to quadruple its port capacity by 2047, with plans already in motion for major ports. “The country’s port capacity is set to surge from the current 2,600 MTPA to over 10,000 MTPA in 2047,” he confirmed.

Created in 1997, MSDC plays a crucial advisory role in integrated maritime sector development.

Highlighting the country’s growing influence in the maritime realm, Sonowal said all maritime states and union territories would attend the Global Maritime India Summit 2023, scheduled for 17-19 October in New Delhi. The summit anticipates a vast congregation of maritime leaders from over 100 countries.

Sonowal pointed out the vast investment potential of over 10 trillion in India’s maritime sector, correlating it with job opportunities for more than 15 lakh individuals. The nation is also shifting toward increased private sector participation, with about 50% of cargo at major ports currently handled through Public-Private Partnership (PPP) terminals. Going ahead, this share is will likely to increase to 85%.

The government has also set ambitious goals for cargo movement on India’s National Waterways, aiming for 500 MTPA by 2047, underscoring the maritime sector’s role in national development.

Sonowal acknowledged the pivotal role played by the Sagarmala Programme in enhancing port capacity, connectivity, and efficiency over the past eight years. He called upon coastal states and union territories to rally behind vital projects under this transformative initiative.

Emphasizing the maritime sector’s economic and strategic significance, other ministers at the meeting also urged commitment to sustainability, technological advancement, and environmental safety. They addressed various developmental agendas, including road and rail port connectivity and challenges faced by state maritime boards.

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Updated: 19 Aug 2023, 06:11 PM IST

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