Visakhapatnam: Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday called for making India a leading maritime nation and emphasized the important role ports will have to play in achieving the ambitious vision.
He was addressing a virtual meeting from Visakhapatnam Port Trust (VPT) guest house here on Saturday after he was briefed by the VPT Chairman K. Rama Mohana Rao on various activities of the port, including its expansion plans.
The Vice-President said that ancient India was a great maritime power and that navies of Chola and Kalinga kings used to rule over the oceans. “We have to regain that glory,” he said.
Touching upon the development of the port infrastructure in the country, he said that as part of the ambitious Sagarmala project, more than 504 projects have been identified to unlock the opportunities for port-led development and these initiatives are expected to mobilize more than 3.57 lakh crore of infrastructure investment.
Noting the decline in the cargo trend at Visakhapatnam port during 2020-21 due to the pandemic after a healthy upward swing between 2015-16 and 2019-20, he expressed hope that it would regain its growth trajectory once the situation normalises.
“It is important to note that ports will play an important role in post-Covid economic recovery”, he added.
Lauding ports for having played a proactive role in handling oxygen supplies and humanitarian relief work during the second wave of Covid-19 and cyclones Tauktae and Yaas, he said “I compliment you all for that”.
Referring to the Maritime India Vision 2030, Naidu wanted the port to adopt global best practices in operations and development. He said that the Vision-2030 is not impossible to achieve as India has the inherent strength of knowledge and wanted everyone to work together in the spirit of Team India.
Earlier, the Vice-President was apprised of the port’s expansion plans, including the proposed establishment of a Rs. 406-crore Free Trade and Warehousing Zone (FTWZ) in an area of 103 acres.
Minister Muttamsetti M. Srinivasa Rao and local officials were present on the occasion....