To boost waterways, the government has prepared a Rs 400 crore project under which the centre will provide subsidy of 50 per cent to states to build floating jetties, Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said as per the PTI report.
Also, the government has decided to open up seven new major ports in the country, Gadkari said after chairing the sixteenth meeting of Maritime State Development Council (MSDC) at Dona Paula near Panaji in Goa.
"The government has prepared a new scheme worth Rs 400 crore to boost inland waterways. Under the scheme the Government of India will give 50 per cent subsidy to states to erect floating jetties while 50 per cent of the cost will have to be borne by the states," an official statement issued said quoting the Minister.
The scheme has been sent to the cabinet for its approval, the statement added.
For passenger jetties this subsidy will be Rs 10 crores while for container/goods jetties, it will be restricted to Rs 25 crore, he said.
The government will open a sub centre of Maritime University at Ratnagiri in Maharashtra to cater to Goa, Gujarat and Maharashtra, for which JSW has already allotted 200 acres of land.
"In view of the world's requirement of manpower in Maritime Industry by 2020 Maritime Industry will provide jobs to over 6.5 crore skilled labourers all over the world," the Minister said as per the statement.
He said the government will provide a financial assistance of Rs 50 crore for all types of training in Maritime Industry.
The Minister also added that the government contemplates to increase the source of cargo to 15.8 per cent per annum by 2020 in the coastal states.
"The Union Government has decided to open up 7 new major ports in addition to 12 existing major ports, out of which one will be based in West Bengal namely Sagar port and the other will be in Dahanu in Maharashtra to be opened up jointly for Maharashtra and Kerala.... The work on these two projects have already begun," he said.
Gadkari also released a vision document after the meeting.
Releasing the vision document the Minister said in order to increase the share of coastal shipping in modal cargo mix to 10 per cent by 2019-20 and to promote cruise tourism leading to development of coastal regions, the Ministry has prepared a vision for coastal shipping, tourism and regional development in consultation with stakeholders along with an action plan to achieve the objectives.
The Minister expressed confidence that in the next five years the share of coastal shipping in transportation of domestic trade will increase.