PM Modi inaugurates three infrastructure projects in Kerala

Kochi, Jan 17 (UNI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated three major infrastructure projects worth more than Rs 4,000 crore here on Wednesday.

The projects inaugurated by Modi 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, Modi 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.

The PM expressed gratitude for being able to perform darshan at the Ramaswami temple just a few days before the Pran Pratishtha at the Ayodhya Dham.

He said 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, 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.

The Prime Minister 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.

Modi 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.

He 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.

The PM 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, he said that passenger and cargo transport got a major boost by making use of inland waterways.

“Sabka Prayas yields better results”, Modi 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”, 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”, he said, throwing light on the agreements made during India’s G20 Presidency regarding the Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor. 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

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, he expressed confidence in the creation of a new ecosystem of MSMEs with the inauguration of such huge shipbuilding and repair facilities.

Modi 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. He 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. Modi 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 added.

He highlighted the role of the fishermen community in the blue economy and port-led development. 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.

The PM 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.

He concluded by wishing for continued rapid development of Kerala and congratulated the citizens for the new infrastructure projects.

Governor Arif Mohammed Khan, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Union Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Sarbananda Sonowal were present.

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