The Union Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal announced a 30 per cent financial support for the promotion of green shipping.

Speaking at a chintan shivir organised by the ministry, Sonowal said that under the Green Tug Transition programme, the Jawaharlal Nehru Port, VO Chidambaranar Port, Paradip Port and Deendayal Port will procure two tugs each. 

As part of green port initiatives, green hydrogen hubs will be set up at Deendayal Port and VO Chidambaranar Port, while a single-window portal to facilitate and monitor river and sea cruises is in the works too. The Jawaharlal Nehru Port and VO Chidambaranar Port will become smart ports by next year.

Promote green shipping

According to Sonowal, there is a clear focus to promote green shipping and bring in energy efficiency via digitisation of port operations. 

“By bringing in the sustainable element in a robust manner, we are aiming at achieving a transformational transportation which is effective, efficient and energetic,” he said. 

A review of the progress would happen mid-year and Sonowal warned of “strict action in case of any delay in completion of the project”.

In the last eight years under the Sagarmala programme, 90 port modernisation projects have been completed.

The chintan shivir also discussed about improvement of port administration, standardisation and share of cargo handling in major ports, and enhancement of cargo, VGF, PPP in inland waterways and coastal shipping. 

Increase in cargo handling

According to a statement from the ministry, the implementation of various initiatives to promote coastal shipping in conjunction with development of coastal berths infrastructure under the Sagarmala programme has led to a significant rise in cargo movement. 

The cargo handled by coastal shipping has grown to 151 million tonnes per annum in FY23 as against 74 million tonnes per annum in FY15. 

A consistent growth has been seen in cargo handling via inland waterways too — from 30 metric tonnes per annum in FY15 to 126 metric tonnes per annum in FY23 .