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Coastal transportation to propel growth, create jobs: Gadkari

PTI:  November 02, 2017

New Delhi: Union minister Nitin Gadkari today flagged off a consignment of steel cargo from Visakhapatnam Port and said a new era of coastal transport has begun and it will propel industrial growth and create jobs.

The consignment of 2.3 lakh tonnes of steel cargo was flagged off via video conferencing by the minister from the Vizag port to Ahmedabad, Mumbai and Kochi.

"This is a new era in transport that will encourage industrial growth, give a boost to the economy, create more employment and raise the GDP of the country," the Union road, shipping and water resources minister said here today while addressing the gathering at Vizag port through video conferencing.

Gadkari said Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd (RINL) was, till now, transporting its products to 22 stockyards through road and rail mode.

Coastal transportation of these products will now bring down logistics costs, he said.

The transport minister further said it is significant as RINL has doubled its production capacity to 6.3 million tonnes per annum (mtpa), and to cater to the increased volumes it is important to economise on transportation costs to be globally competitive.

He also asked all other manufactures to make use of coastal shipping for transporting goods as this can be a key enabler for reduction of logistics cost for domestic and EXIM trade of India.

Coastal movement has been on RINL's radar for a long time because of its proximity to the ports and to ease the pressure from the over optimised road and rail systems, he said, adding RINL recently finalised a one-year multi-modal transportation contract covering end-to-end logistics from plant at Visakhapatnam to its stockyards at Ahmedabad, Mumbai and Kochi.

The Rs 75-crore annual contract has been awarded to the consortium led by Shreyas Shipping & Logistics Ltd, Mumbai, a member of Transworld Group, Dubai.

The contract involves taking delivery of material from plant, shifting by road, shipping the material by sea to a port near the stockyard and finally delivering the material to RINL Stockyard. The quantities expected to be transported are 90,000 tonnes, 75,000 tonnes and 60,000 tonnes to Ahmedabad, Mumbai and Kochi stockyards, respectively.

The minister said the Sagarmala project is one of the strategic and customer-oriented initiatives to modernise India's ports to augment coastal movement so that ports become drivers of economic growth.

Sagarmala programme envisages to double current share of coastal shipping in India's overall modal mix from 6 per cent to 12 per cent by 2025.

Union Steel Minister, who was present at Vizag Port lauded the efforts of the Shipping Ministry in ensuring that ports and waterways ably support the transport requirements of the steel industry. He said that the growth of ports would help the steel industry immensely.

Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.