Addressing a Regional Editors Conference in Chandigarh, Minister for Road Transport, Highways & Shipping Nitin Gadkari gave an overview of his ministry´s achievements as well as plans for future growth.
Beginning with shipping, he said that while ports around the world had faced losses, Indian ports had shown a growth of 2.6 per cent, earning profits of nearly Rs 6,000 crore. At present the country has 12 Major Ports and there are plans to add six more. The minister briefly touched upon the Sagarmala Project whose port-led economic growth intends to give a boost to the coastal economy, as it would develop manufacturing hubs as well as promote fishing. The minister said that at present there are only five inland waterways and his government has identified 106 more, and now these 111 waterways are being developed as National Waterways. He added that the waterways will prove to be a game-changer as they would reduce the cost of transportation for goods and passengers, reduce road congestion as well as play a vital role in reducing pollution.