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Scope For Shipping Hub

Bhubaneswar: Odisha for its strategic location has the potential to emerge as a coastal shipping hub in the country, said Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra here on Tuesday while inaugurating a two-day summit on Prime Minister Gati-Shakti Multimodal Maritime.

“Our coastal line is quite suitable for the development of deep ports. Eastern part of India including Odisha is growing at a fast rate. Odisha is supplying thermal coal, iron ore and manganese to a large number of states in India. The growth rate will be faster in coming years,” Mahapatra said. 

The PM Gati-Shakti is a pan India platform that would address the critical issues of reducing logistic cost of mineral transport substantially, and would accelerate the growth of coastal shipping, he said.

It is a comprehensive and converged platform of all the related departments in both State and Central Governments along with other major stakeholders, he added. 

“With uploading of information by all concerned, the planning and decision making for the sector would be more perfect and faster. It would also bring the real ease of doing business for the investors,” said Mahapatra.  

The Chief Secretary further said that Odisha would soon become one of the biggest hubs in coastal shipping of the minerals and finished products.

He assured that the State Government would extend all help for implementation of the recommendations of this two-day Summit.

Joining the inaugural session as guest of honour, Divisional Railway Manager Rinkesh Roy said, “East Coast Railway is No-1 freight loading zone in the entire Railways. Paradeep is the 2nd largest port in terms of the volume handled through the rail link network. The region has a huge mining and industrial belt.”

He said that the east coast railway was on its path for augmentation of its  rail-network in Odisha from mining and industrial points to the port.

Addressing the Summit, Shipping joint secretary (Sagarmala Projects) Bhusan Kumar informed about the converged mechanism put in place for successful implementation of Gati-Shakti projects in the state.

Mr.Kumar said that the Ministry of Ports, Shipping & Waterways prioritized improvement of connectivity to more than 50 plus non-major operative ports through PM Gati Shakti. In this comprehensive port connectivity plan, more than 107 connectivity gaps were identified for abridging port connectivity.

Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) vice chairman Jayant Singh said, “Inland waterways is the low hanging fruit in seamless multimodal transportation. Odisha with its long stretches of water mass across different regions possess immense potential for development of inland waterways.” 

Paradip Port Trust chairman P.L. Haranadh said that the port in its 56 years of cargo handling service would attain a record 125 MMT annual traffic in the financial year 2022-23. During the Amrit Kal, Paradip will be the port of the millennium by having a capacity of more than 500 MMT by 2047, he said.