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Govt to start developing three new ports in 2016: Gadkari

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Chennai: As part of its plan to develop ports and boost maritime trade, government would develop three major ports in the country this year, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said here today.

“We have already taken a decision this new year. We will start three new major ports. One is at Colachel in Tamil Nadu, the second at Sagar in West Bengal and third at Dahanur, Wadhwad in Maharashtra”, he said addressing students at the second convocation of Indian Maritime University here today.

The Road Transport and Highways minister said the plan to set up new ports would definitely add to the economic growth.

“Definitely, that is going to help us in accelerating the economy”, he said.

Gadkari said India presently has 12 major ports and 200 non major ports.

He said government has set a target of increasing cargo volume from 972 million tonnes to 2,500 billion tonnes by 2025.

On the plan to develop 1,300 islands in India and 280 light houses to tourism spots, he said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had made a suggestion to the effect at a cabinet meeting.

“Already we have organised a conference in Mumbai. This year, I am expecting more than 70 islands and lighthouses will start tourism, which is a sector were we can increase employment potential”, he said.

Gadkari said it was really unfortunate that the inland waterways sector, which is the ‘most important game changer’ has been neglected.

“We have decided to develop five waterways — river Ganga, Brahmaputra, Buckingham canal (in Chennai), Kerala Backwaters and Mahanadhi river in Odisha”, he said.

“The Lok Sabha has passed the bill to convert 111 rivers into waterways. I expect in the next Parliament session in Rajya Sabha we will pass that Bill and make a success story of inland waterways”, he said.

As part of promoting recycling water in ports,he said the Ministry has decided to take up recycling of water in Ports.

“We (The Ministry) have decided to recycle water in every port in the country”, he said.

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