The year 2018 has been a significant one for the Ministry of Shipping. Bolstered by progressive policy interventions like amendment of Model Concession Agreement, revision of tariff guidelines and the various steps taken towards facilitating Ease of Doing Business, the major ports kept up their impressive performance of the past four years in terms of capacity addition and improvement of efficiency parameters.
The Sagarmala Programme saw the completion of 89 projects, while 443 projects worth Rs. 4.32 lakh crore are under various stages of implementation and development.
The year was especially remarkable for developments in the inland water transport sector. The inauguration of the multi modal terminal on River Ganga at Varanasi by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, the first ever post – independence movement of container cargo from Kolkata to Varanasi on the river, and the commencement of integrated movement of cargo from Kahalgaon in Bihar to Pandu in Assamover three waterways – Ganga, Brahmaputra and the Indo Bangladesh Protocol Route, have firmly established that the vision of inland water as a cheaper and more environment friendly mode of transport is fast becoming a reality.
Cruise tourism was another area with important developments like the inauguration of a modernized international cruise terminal at Chennai Port and the launch of Mumbai-Goa cruise service, as was the skill development sector with the setting up of Centre of Excellence in Maritime & Shipbuilding (CEMS) at Vizag and Mumbai, National Technology Centre for Ports, Waterways and Coasts (NTCPWC), at IIT Madras in Chennai and the decision to set up Multiskill Development Centers (MSDC) at all major ports under Sagarmala.