New Delhi [India], March 29 (ANI): Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Wednesday announced that the Centre was planning to develop the Eastern Grid with 5000 kms of navigable waterways.
The Union Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways and Ayush was speaking at the second Inland Waterways Summit organised by PHDCCI, the industry chamber here in the national capital, the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways informed in a press release on Wednesday.
Addressing the event, the minister said, "Under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi Ji, the government is working extensively to develop the Eastern Grid with more than 5,000 kms of navigable waterways, and we are encouraged by the results of work done on National Waterways 1 - the river Ganga".
"Given the rich interweb of rivers in eastern India, which comprises four key waterways along with certain international routes, we intend to develop this huge potential of 5,000 kms of navigable waterways through this grid. The development of this grid will not only boost regional integration and accelerate development but it will further deepen eastern India's trade within BBIN countries (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal). It will also further amplify trade potential with countries like Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore," he added.
The Union Minister said, "Under the visionary leadership of PM Modi ji, we want to explore this immense potential of trade for the economic progress and development of the eastern part of India."As per the Ministry, the second Inland Waterways Summit, organised by PHDCCI, has the theme of 'Tapping into the power of Inland Waterways: promoting growth, trade and prosperity'.
The summit is a platform to explore the potential of inland waterways for regional economic integration and sustainable development by the different stakeholders including government, interest groups and business enterprises along with entrepreneurs, the ministry addedThe Union minister said with the seamless connection between NW-1(Ganga), NW-2(Brahmaputra) and NW-16(Barak), the government is keen to create opportunity via an economic corridor of 3500 kms connecting Northeast India with the rest of India, via Bangladesh.
"This will also link Bhutan and Nepal with Bangladesh onto the international trade routes through multi-modal connections developed in India. As India develops Sittwe port in Myanmar, the regional economic integration, cooperation and amplification can smoothly happen among BBIN - BIMSTEC - ASEAN countries," he said.
The former Assam CM added, "Under the visionary leadership of PM Modi, we are working for deeper and longer network integration of inland waterways in this region to provide a future-ready mode of movement; that is economical, sustainable, and efficient. More than 600 million people from this area will benefit from this project as it is likely to propel the new Engine of growth, Northeast India, for economic development, market accessemployment generation in the region."Stressing the need to accelerate the growth of eastern India, Sonowal said the Eastern Grid can unlock a multi-lateral trade potential of 49 billion USD as the government remains committed accelerate growth in eastern India.
"Modi-ji has always given special focus to improve and better the socio-economic aspects of Northeast India. This grid will realise the vision of our Prime Minister to make Northeast India the new engine of growth of India. This region is one of the least integrated regions in the world and the government intends to turn it around by working to resolve with all stakeholders to simplify tariff and non-tariff barriers, transit regulation, interoperability of vehicle fleet and many such technical limitations," the Union minister said.
He added, "Beyond the economic advantage, the grid also gives the region the strategic advantage of access to international trade routes as well as climate resilience for an environment-friendly transport mode - powered by green hydrogen, electricity, LNG etc. I hope this summit on inland waterways will pave the way for closer and deeper strategies for the development of the entire region in the spirit of the philosophy envisaged by Modi ji as 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Viswas, Sabka Prayas'."The event was also attended by Sanjay Bandopadhya, IAS chairman, Inland Waterways Authority of India; R. Lakshmanan, IAS, joint secretary (Admn, Parl and DGLL), Ministry of Ports, ShippingWaterways; Saket Dalmia, president, PHDCCI; Sandeep Wadhwa, chair, Gati Shakti Development Forum; Ashok Gupta, co-chair, Gati Shakti Development Forum; Col. Saurabh Sanyal, CEO and secretary general, PHDCCI among other leading members of the industry, policy advocates, industrialists, entrepreneurs and other eminent personalities, the Ministry stated. (ANI)