Much like the ‘Make in India’ event, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today, inaugurated the first Maritime Summit India, in Mumbai. This event is expected to attract investments worth over Rs. 82,000 crore.

Having inaugurated it at 11 am at the Bombay Convention and Exhibition Centre in Goregaon, Mumbai today, Mr. Modi spoke about the importance of maritime transport and said “Maritime transport can be the most extensive mode of transport. But we have to make sure that our lifestyle, transport systems and trading behaviour do not spoil the ecology of the oceans.”

Union Minister for Surface Transport and Shipping Nitin Gadkari said, “Port-led development is high on priority of the government. It has the potential of creating one crore jobs, 40 lakh directly and 60 lakh indirectly in the next five years. The summit will open a new era of international cooperation in the maritime sector.” And announced a new project, saying “We have launched an ambitious program ‘Project Unnati’ to modernize our major ports.” The modernization of the ports will reportedly reduce the turn-around time by atleast 20%, enabling a savings of Rs. 1300 crore annually.

Gadkari also added, “In Jal Marg Vikas project we are investing over $600 Million to make Ganga navigable from Varanasi to Haldia covering a distance of 1620KM.”

Chief ministers of states — Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Goa will also participate in the summit; in addition to 3000 other delegates from India and abroad. Over 120 business and concession agreements, worth over Rs 82,000 crore, have been planned to be signed at the summit, which is being organised with South Korea as the partner country.

The summit will feature 13 thematic sessions on topics such as the Union government’s Sagarmala project for port-led development, ship building, ship repair and ship breaking, maritime education and training, inland water transportation, cruise shipping and lighthouse tourism, hinterland connectivity and so on.

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