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Development of ports to create 1 crore jobs in five years: Nitin Gadkari

India TV Business Desk 09 Apr 2016, 21:48:01 PM IST
India TV Business Desk

Mumbai: Development of ports and the shipping sector under the government’s ambitious Sagarmala project could lead to the creation of one crore jobs in the next four to five years, Union minister for Shipping, Road Transport and Highways said in Mumbai today.

"One crore jobs will be created under Sagarmala project only in the shipping and ports sector," Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister Gadkari said addressing the media after chairing the second National Sagarmala Apex Committee meeting here.

The programme aims to promote port-led development in the country by harnessing India's 7,500-km long coastline, 14,500-km of potentially navigable waterways and strategic location on key international maritime trade routes.

The jobs will include 40 lakh direct and 60 lakh indirect employment, he said.

Thrust was being laid on developing waterways in the country and ball has been set rolling to tap the potential of 116 rivers across the nation as waterways, he said.

The government's top priority is to develop waterways and ports to reduce the high logistics cost as it costs Rs 1.5 a km to carry the cargo from road, one rupee from rail while through waterways it reduces to only 25 paise a km, the minister added.

Government has identified over 150 projects under its ambitious 'Sagarmala' initiative, the Minister informed.

Apart from converting 111 rivers into waterways, the agenda includes developing smart cities at major ports, the Minister said adding that the 1,620-km stretch on Haldia-Varanasi on Ganga was being developed and tenders were out for projects worth Rs 4,000 crore.

Also, on the priority is development of coastal areas in 13 states which will benefit lakhs of fishermen, he said informing the government planned low cost housing and other initiatives for them.

Development of shipping sector along with highways will contribute at least 2 per cent to India's GDP, he said.

(With PTI inputs)