Kochi | Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated projects worth Rs 4,000 crore to the nation on Wednesday, including key strategic initiatives at Cochin Shipyard Limited, and said these would help speed up development of the southern region of the country.
The projects comprise a 310-metre-long dry dock, constructed to international standards, and the International Ship Repair Facility (ISRF), India's first fully developed pure ship repair ecosystem. Additionally, the dedication includes the IOCL's LPG import terminal.
After inaugurating the projects, the PM addressed the programme which was attended by Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways and Ayush, Sarbananda Sonowal and Union Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan.
In his speech, Modi said,"Today, when India is becoming a major centre of global trade, we are focusing on increasing the country's maritime strength." He also said that many reforms have been carried out in the last 10 years to enhance 'Ease of Doing Business' in the sectors of ports, shipping and inland waterways.
Modi said that his government was working to make India a major maritime power.
To achieve that goal, the Central government was working to improve infrastructure, capacity, efficiency and connectivity at port cities like Kochi through initiatives like Sagarmala Pariyojana, the PM said.
"The projects inaugurated today will speed up progress and development of the southern region of the country," he added.
The PM further said that the interventions and reforms by his government has brought in huge investments in the ports and also generated more employment.
In the past, India thrived with significant global GDP contributions, powered by strong ports and port cities, he said.
The Prime Minister also said that today, as India reclaims its position in global trade, "we're actively fortifying our maritime capabilities".
He also highlighted that earlier ships used to queue up in ports for days on end to offload cargo, but now India has surpassed many developed nations in the ship turnaround time.
Modi further said that In the 'Azadi Ka Amrit Kaal', each state plays a vital role in India's journey toward development.
"When everyone works together, the results are much better," he said.
The PM also congratulated Keralites for being the recipients of projects worth Rs 4,000 crore.
Prior to the inauguration, Sonowal shared details of the project in his welcome address.
Vijayan, who also spoke at the event, conveyed the thanks of the state to the PM.
"We are delighted to have Prime Minister Narendra Modi in our midst. At the outset let me extend a warm welcome to him and reaffirm Kerala's commitment to the overall development of our country by playing a supportive role as the host state in mega projects such as this," he said.
The CM, in his brief speech, also highlighted the role of state-run Keltron and various other Kerala-based companies in the Chandrayaan-3 and Aditya L1 projects.
The Central government anticipates that with the dedication of these projects, Cochin Shipyard Limited is poised to double its turnover within the next four years to Rs 7,000 crore.