The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated three major infrastructure projects worth more than Rs 4,000s crore in Kochi, Kerala today. The projects being inaugurated today include New Dry Dock (NDD) at Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL), International Ship Repair Facility (ISRF) of CSL, and LPG Import Terminal of Indian Oil Corporation Limited at Puthuvypeen, Kochi. These major infrastructure projects are in line with the Prime Minister’s vision to transform India’s ports, shipping, and waterways sector, and build capacity and self-sufficiency in it.
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister talked about his Darshan of Bhagwan Guruvyurappan at the temple this morning. He also recalled the mention of the holy temples of Kerala which are associated with Ramayan in his speech at the recent inauguration of Maharishi Valmiki International Airport at Ayodhya Dham. He expressed gratitude for being able to perform darshan at the Ramaswamy temple just a few days before the Pran Pratishtha at the Ayodhya Dham. He said that the beautiful presentation by the Kerala artists this morning brought about the feel of Awadh Puri in Kerala.
Emphasizing the role of every state in the journey of making India ‘Viksit Bharat’ during the Amrit Kaal. PM Modi recalled the role of ports in India’s erstwhile prosperity in earlier times and envisaged a similar role for ports now when India is taking new strides and becoming a major center of global trade. In such a scenario, the Prime Minister said that the government is engaged in improving the strength of port cities like Kochi. He listed an increase in port capacity, investment in port infrastructure, and improved connectivity of ports under the Sagarmala Project.
He mentioned the country’s largest dry dock that Kochi received today. Other projects like shipbuilding, ship repairing and LPG import terminal will also give momentum to development in Kerala and the southern region of the country. He also noted the honour of building ‘Made in India’ aircraft carrier INS Vikrant with the Kochi Shipyard. New facilities will enhance the capabilities of the shipyard many times.
The Prime Minister highlighted the reforms made in the ports, shipping and waterways sector in the last 10 years and said that it has brought new investments in India’s ports and created new employment opportunities. He informed that the reforms of rules related to Indian Seafarers led to an increase in the number of seafarers in the country by 140 percent. Within the country, the Prime Minister said that passenger and cargo transport got a major boost by making use of inland waterways.
“Sabka Prayas yields better results”, the Prime Minister remarked highlighting that Indian ports have achieved double-digit annual growth in the last 10 years. Till 10 years ago, the Prime Minister recalled that ships had to wait quite long at the ports and the unloading took very long. “Today, the situation has changed”, Shri Modi said, informing that India has surpassed many developed nations when it comes to ship-turnaround time.
“The world is recognizing India’s potential and position in global trade”, PM Modi said, throwing light on the agreements made during India’s G20 Presidency regarding the Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor. Shri Modi underlined that the Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor will further strengthen the creation of Viksit Bharat by giving a boost to the coastal economy of India. The Prime Minister also touched upon the recently launched Maritime Amrit Kaal Vision which presents a roadmap to reinforce India’s maritime prowess for Viksit Bharat. He reiterated the government’s efforts to build mega ports, shipbuilding and ship-repairing infrastructure in the country
PM Modi said that the new dry dock is the national pride of India. This will not only enable big vessels to dock but also make shipbuilding and ship repair work possible here, reducing dependence on foreign countries and will also save foreign exchange.
Referring to the inauguration of the International Ship Repair Facility, the Prime Minister said that it will transform Kochi into India and Asia’s largest ship repair center. Drawing the analogy of multiple MSMEs coming together in the manufacturing of INS Vikrant, the Prime Minister expressed confidence in the creation of a new ecosystem of MSMEs with the inauguration of such huge shipbuilding and repair facilities. He further added that the new LPG Import Terminal will meet the LPG needs of Kochi, Coimbatore, Erode, Salem, Calicut, Madurai, and Trichy while also supporting industries, other economic development activities and creation of new jobs in these areas.
The Prime Minister noted the foremost position of Kochi Shipyard’s green technology capacities and its primacy in making ‘Make in India’ vessels. The Prime Minister also praised the electric vessels made for the Kochi Water Metro. Electric hybrid passenger ferries for Ayodhya, Varanasi, Mathura and Guwahati are being made here. “Kochi Shipyard is playing an important role in modern and green water connectivity in the cities of the country”, he said. He also mentioned zero-emission electric cargo ferries being made for Norway and the work in progress on the world’s first hydrogen-fueled feeder container vessel. “Kochi Shipyard is further strengthening our mission of taking India towards hydrogen fuel-based transport. I am confident that very soon the country will also get indigenous hydrogen fuel cell ferry”, PM Modi added.
The Prime Minister highlighted the role of the fishermen community in the blue economy and port-led development. Shri Modi credited the manifold increase in fish production and exports in the last 10 years to the development of new infrastructure projects under PM Matsya Sampada Yojna, subsidy provided by the central government for modernized boats to carry out deep sea fishing and Kisan Credit Cards for fishermen along the lines of farmers. He said that the government is giving impetus to boosting India’s contributions in the seafood processing sector which will lead to a huge increase in the income of fishermen and make their lives easier. The Prime Minister concluded by wishing for continued rapid development of Kerala and congratulated the citizens for the new infrastructure projects.
Governor of Kerala, Shri Arif Mohammed Khan, Chief Minister of Kerala, Shri Pinarayi Vijayan, Union Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Shri Sarbananda Sonowal were present on the occasion among others.
The New Dry Dock, built at a cost of about Rs 1,800 crores at the existing premises of Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL), Kochi, is a flagship project reflecting New India’s engineering prowess. This one-of-a-kind 310-meter-long stepped dry dock, with a width of 75/60 meters, depth of 13 meters and a draught of up to 9.5 metres, is one of the largest marine infrastructures in the region. The New Dry Dock project features heavy ground loading which will position India with advanced capabilities to handle strategic assets like future aircraft carriers up to 70,000T displacement as well as large commercial vessels, thus eliminating India’s dependency on foreign nations for emergency national requirements.
The International Ship Repair Facility (ISRF) project, built at a cost of about Rs 970 crores has a ship lift system with a capacity of 6000T, a transfer system, six workstations and a berth of approximately 1,400 metres which can accommodate 7 vessels of 130-metre length simultaneously. The ISRF will modernise and expand the existing ship repair capabilities of CSL and will be a step towards transforming Kochi into a global ship repair hub.
The Indian Oil’s LPG Import Terminal at Puthuvypeen, Kochi, built at the cost of about Rs 1,236 crores boasts state-of-the-art facilities. With a 15400 MT storage capacity, the terminal will ensure a steady supply of LPG for millions of households and businesses in the region. This project will further strengthen India’s efforts towards ensuring accessible & affordable energy for all.
With the commissioning of these 3 projects, the nation’s shipbuilding and repair capacities and the growth of energy infrastructure including ancillary industries will get a boost. The projects will also boost EXIM Trade, reduce logistics costs, drive economic growth, build self-reliance and create numerous domestic and international business opportunities.