Coastal waterways to be used for cargo movement
Kerala’s shipping sector experts have called to
utilise the endless opportunities offered by coastal waterways for cargo
M Beena, Chairperson, Cochin Port Trust said
“The main challenge being faced is to effectively utilise the coastal waterways
and small ports for cargo-handling. The shifting of cargo from roads to
waterways would be economically viable and environmental friendly.”
She was speaking on the potential of Kerala waterways
at the recently concluded Maritime India Summit, where she pointed out that
cashew from Kollam, and movement of cement and tiles from Cochin Port Trust to
other parts would save considerable time and resource management. The Ministry
of Shipping is actively considering a proposal to create connectivity between
Kochi and Lakshadweep for cruise tourism, she added.
VP Salim Kumar, CEO, Kerala Maritime Board,
said the government has envisaged an investment of $1.68 billion over the next
five years for the development of ports and the maritime sector that comprises
the proposed Vizhinjam International Transhipment Container Terminal, Azheekal
Seaport Development, Kollam and Beypore Ports Capacity Building and Coastal
Shipping Development. The development of Azheekal Multi-Purpose Port is at an estimated
investment of $140. 25 million would accelerate development activities in the
The government has identified several
projects which include coastal areas for bulk and container cargo shipping, catamaran
services along the coast, promotion of coastal tourism including water sports,
marina development in Alappuzha and Thalassery, and projects such as Seafood
Park in Kodungallur, ship repair unit in Kollam and a floating dry dock.
NSK Umesh, Executive Director, Kerala State
Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) said that Kerala has more skilled
manpower than other States and it could be effectively utilised. The
development of ports would open up huge possibilities in the industry. There is
a need to set up more food with increased focus on exports. The State is
focussing more attention on the on development of smaller ports, he said.
According to LS Radhakrishnan, Managing
Director and CEO, Azheekal Port, investments to the tune of ₹3,700 crore would help in the economic growth
of North Kerala and he requested for private partnerships to set up warehouses
and industrial parks in the region.
Jayakumar, Managing Director and CEO,
Vizhinjam International Seaport, said the implementation of the ₹7,700 crore project would pave the way for
investments in information technology, marine, ship building, ship repair and
agri-textile sectors and enable the formation of a maritime cluster.
Priority should be given to start coastal
shipping service. The warehouses should be developed with private investment
focussing on ports, Savio Mathew, Head, FICCI Kerala State Council, suggested.