India-Myanmar ferry service to start next month: Nitin Gadkari

NEW DELHI: The proposed ferry service between India and Myanmar will commence next month that will facilitate cargo and passenger movement between the two countries.

Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari today said the service will begin in October this year.

The proposed cargo ferry service will connect the two countries through Chennai and Yangon (Myanmar). It will open a sea route and strengthen economic ties for land-based trade worth about billions of dollars.

State-run Shipping Corporation of India is likely to deploy a 1,200 TEU (twenty feet equivalent unit) vessel, which will connect the ports of Colombo, Chennai, Krishnapatnam and Yangon.

Ministry of Shipping has also formalised a coastal shipping arrangement in 2014 which would boost the coastal movement of vessels between the two countries.

Addressing media persons at a conference marking 100 days of the Narendra Modi led NDA government in office, the Minister said the shipping sector can increase the country’s GDP by 2 per cent.

The sector can also create tourism and employment opportunities, he said.

Special plan is in the works for the Mumbai Port Trust, the minister said but did not elaborate the proposed plan.

“There will be a revolutionary change in the water transport sector in the next five years,” Gadkari said.

The Shipping Ministry is planning to start a RORO service in the country for transportation of vehicles from factories, which will help in saving fuel used for the transportation of the goods through roads.

Roll-on/roll-off (RORO) ships are vessels designed to carry wheeled cargo, such as automobiles, trucks etc that are driven on and off the ship on their own wheels or using a platform vehicle.

“We have planned the expansion of the Cochin Shipyard, we are working on different schemes for cargo and passengers at the shipyard, we are planning to build three LNG (liquefied natural gas) vessels at the Cochin Shipyard,” Gadkari added.

The vessels will be built at a cost of Rs 1,500 crore each. Cochin Shipyard will partner with a French company for building these vessels.

The ministry is also working on a scheme for the promotion of ship breaking and building.

“We have prepared a Cabinet note on the matter. The states of Gujarat, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu have potential for this kind of industry. We want to facilitate ship breaking and building in our country,” he added.


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