On November 8, 2020, the Government of India renamed the Ministry of Shipping as the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways. It was announced by Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi during the virtual inauguration of Ro-Pax Ferry service between Hazira in Surat district in south Gujarat and Ghogha in Bhavnagar district of Gujarat. The vessel Voyage Symphony will be used for this service.
- This inauguration was made to reduce the time and cost of carrying goods from one part to another through water transport.
- A tripartite agreement involving the ferry operator, Deendayal Port Trust and Gujarat Maritime Board has been signed for the ferry operations.
- Notably in 2019, Gujarat accounted for more than 40% of India’s total maritime trade.
About Ro-Pax Ferry service:
This ferry service will reduce nearly 370 km road distance between the two places to 90 km by sea route and travel time from 10-12 hours to 3-4 hours. It has a load capacity of 30 trucks, 100 passenger cars, and 500 passengers plus 34 crew and hospitality staff,
- The ferry will make three trips daily, annually transporting five lakh passengers, 80,000 passenger vehicles, 50,000 two-wheelers and 30,000 trucks.
Government efforts for Improving Maritime:
–Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana, with an outlay of Rs 30,000 crore will improve the fishing infrastructure.
–A ‘Ro-Ro (roll on roll off) terminal, a liquid cargo terminal and a container terminal is being set up in Bhavnagar.
—India’s first CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) terminal is going to be installed at Bhavnagar Port of Gujarat.
–Efforts are being made to ensure that the 21,000 -km ‘jal marg’ (waterways) are used for the country’s development. For this, work is underway on more than 500 projects under ‘Sagarmala’.
–The Gujarat Maritime Cluster coming up in the GIFT (Gujarat International Finance Tec-City) City at Gandhinagar will be a dedicated system to address logistics of ports and seaways.
Recent Related News:
i.On 20th October, 2020, Chief Minister (CM) of Gujarat, Vijay Rupani inaugurated the newly expanded Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) route from Kumbhariya to Kadodara, Surat virtually from Gandhinagar. With the opening of this BRTS corridor, Surat became the only city in the country to have Longest BRTS network with 108 kms.
ii.On 24th October, 2020, PM Narendra Modi virtually inaugurated 3 Key Projects in Gujarat viz.
- Launching of Kisan Suryodaya Yojana (Electricity Scheme for Farmers)
- Inauguration of Paediatric Heart Hospital attached with U.N Mehta Institute of Cardiology and Research Centre & Mobile Application for Tele-Cardiology.
- Inauguration of Girnar Ropeway, Junagadh.
National Parks– Gir National Park, Velavadar Blackbuck National Park, Vansda National Park, Marine National Park.