India is focussing on enhancing its maritime strength when the country is becoming a major centre of global trade, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said.

The world is recognizing India’s potential and position in global trade, and the Maritime Amrit Kaal Vision presents a roadmap to reinforce the country’s maritime prowess for Viksit Bharat, he said adding that the Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor will further strengthen the creation of Viksit Bharat by giving a boost to the country’s coastal economy.

The Prime Minister was speaking after dedicating to the nation the three major infrastructure projects worth more than ₹4,000s crore in Kochi on Wednesday.

Infrastructure projects

The projects being inaugurated include New Dry Dock (NDD) at Cochin Shipyard Limited, International Ship Repair Facility (ISRF) of CSL, and LPG Import Terminal of Indian Oil Corporation Limited at Puthuvypeen, Kochi.

Cochin Shipyard is playing an important role in modern and green water connectivity in the cities of the country, the Prime Minister said while referring to construction of electric hybrid passenger ferries by CSL for Ayodhya, Varanasi, Mathura and Guwahati.  

The new dry dock will not only enable big vessels to dock but also make shipbuilding and ship repair work possible here, reducing dependence on foreign countries, thereby saving foreign exchange, he said.

The International Ship Repair Facility will transform Kochi into Asia’s largest ship repair centre. He also expressed confidence in the creation of a new ecosystem of MSMEs with the inauguration of the huge shipbuilding and repair facilities. 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.

Cochin Shipyard’s primacy

The Prime Minister noted the foremost position of Cochin Shipyard’s green technology capacities and its primacy in making ‘Make in India’ vessels. He 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.

“Cochin 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”, he said.

According to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, the development projects in Cochin Shipyard are the contribution of Kerala to the overall development of the country. Make in Kerala has become an essential component of Make in India projects, he said while referring to the production of various components by state PSU’s for prestigious projects like Chandrayan, Aditya etc.

Lauding the water metro projects, he said it is a pride moment for Kerala when other states are evincing interest in introducing water metro.