Prime Minister Mr. Modi launched i India East Coast’s first transshipment Hub

Delhi, February 28:  Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone and dedicated to the nation multiple development projects worth more than ₹17,300 crores in Thoothukudi, Tamil Nadu today.

The Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways and Ayush, Sarbananda Sonowal joined the Prime Minister on the occasion. The Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal presented Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the sacred ‘Sengol,’ pride of Tamil society, in front of an exuberant 30,000 people.

The Prime Minister laid the foundation stone of the Outer Harbor Container Terminal at V.O. Chidambaranar Port. The Prime Minister also launched India’s first indigenous green hydrogen fuel cell inland waterway vessel under the Harit Nauka initiative. He dedicated tourist facilities in 75 lighthouses across 10 States and UTs.

He also dedicated to the nation, rail projects for doubling of Vanchi Maniyachchi – Nagercoil rail line including the Vanchi Maniyachchi – Tirunelveli section and Melappalayam – Aralvaymoli section. The Prime Minister dedicated four road projects in Tamil Nadu, developed at a total cost of about ₹4,586 crore.

Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister said that Tamil Nadu is writing a new chapter of progress in Thoothukudi as inauguration and foundation stones are being laid for multiple development projects towards the road map of developed India.

He said that one can witness the spirit of ‘Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat’ in the development projects of today. Even though the projects may be in Thoothukudi, the Prime Minister emphasised that it will give momentum to development in multiple places across India.

The Prime Minister reiterated the journey of Viksit Bharat and the role of Tamil Nadu in it. He recalled his visit 2 years ago when he flagged off many projects for the expansion of the Chidambaranar Port capacity and his promise of making it into a major hub of shipping.

“That guarantee is being fulfilled today”, said the Prime Minister. Talking about the foundation stone of Outer Harbor Container Terminal at V.O. Chidambaranar Port, the Prime Minister informed that this project will have an investment of ₹7,000 crores.

Projects worth ₹900 crores have been dedicated today and ₹2500 crore worth projects were initiated on 13 ports. These projects will benefit Tamil Nadu and will create avenues of employment in the state, he said.

The Prime Minister reminded that the development projects of today being brought by the present government are the people’s demands and the previous governments never paid any attention to them. “I have come to Tamil Nadu for the service of the land and to change its fate,” the Prime Minister said.

Talking about India’s first hydrogen fuel cell inland waterway vessel under the Harit Nauka initiative, PM Modi called it a gift of the people of Tamil Nadu for Kashi. He said that he witnessed the enthusiasm and affection of the people of Tamil Nadu in Kashi Tamil Sangamam.

The Prime Minister inaugurated various other projects aimed at making the V.O.Chidambaranar Port the first Green Hydrogen Hub Port of the country. These projects include a desalination plant, hydrogen production, and a bunkering facility. “Tamil Nadu will go a long way about the alternatives that the world is exploring today,” he said.

The Prime Minister also highlighted the rail and road development projects of today and said that the electrification and doubling of rail lines will further improve connectivity between South Tamil Nadu and Kerala, while also easing the congestion in Tirunelveli and Nagercoil sectors.

He also mentioned the four major projects for the modernisation of roadways in Tamil Nadu worth more than ₹4,000 crores today, the Prime Minister said that it will give a boost to connectivity, reduce travel time and encourage trade and tourism in the state.

Referring to the whole-of-government approach of New India, the Prime Minister said that roadways, highways and waterways departments are working to create better connectivity and better opportunities in Tamil Nadu.

Therefore, railways, roads and maritime projects are being launched in tandem. The multi-modal approach will give new momentum to the development of the state, said the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister recalled his suggestion to develop prime lighthouses of the country into tourist destinations during an episode of Mann Ki Baat and expressed pride in dedicating tourist facilities in 75 lighthouses across 10 States and UTs.

“Developments in 75 places at once, this is new India”, PM Modi remarked, and expressed confidence that these 75 places will become huge tourist centres in the coming times.

Recounting the initiatives of the central government, the Prime Minister informed that in the last 10 years, 1300 KM long rail projects were undertaken in Tamil Nadu. 2000 km railway electrification was achieved, creation of a flyover and underpass and the upgradation of many railway stations was done.

He said 5 Vande Bharat trains are running in the state providing world-class travel experience. The Government of India is investing 1.5 lakh crore rupees in the road infrastructure of Tamil Nadu. “Central government’s efforts to improve connectivity are increasing the ease of living”, he said.

The Prime Minister underscored the great expectations with the waterways and the maritime sector of India for decades and said that these sectors are becoming the foundations of Viksit Bharat today, and Tamil Nadu along with the entire South India are the biggest beneficiaries of this.

The Prime Minister highlighted the three major ports and more than 12 small ports in Tamil Nadu and underlined the possibilities for all southern states. “Development of Maritime Sector means the development of a state like Tamil Nadu”, the Prime Minister said, informing about the 35 per cent growth of traffic on V.O. Chidambaranar Port in the last decade.

He further added that the port handled 38 million tons last year recording an annual growth of 11 percent. “Similar results can be seen in other major ports of the country”, PM Modi added, crediting the role of projects like Sagarmala.

The Prime Minister asserted that India is creating new records in waterways and maritime sectors. He noted India’s jump to 38 rank in the logistics performance index and port capacity has doubled in one decade.

He further said that there has been an eight-times increase in national waterways during this time and the number of cruise passengers has grown four times while seafarers doubled.

These strides are bound to benefit Tamil Nadu and our youth, he said. “I am convinced that Tamil Nadu will move forward on the path of development and I give you the guarantee that I will serve you with new enthusiasm when the nation allows us to serve for the third time.”

Speaking about the love, affection, enthusiasm and blessings of the people of various regions of Tamil Nadu during his current visit, the Prime Minister highlighted the government’s commitment and said that he will match every affection of the people with the development of the state.

The Prime Minister asked everyone to switch on their phone lights and indicate that Tamil Nadu and the government of India are celebrating the festival of development.

Speaking on the occasion, the Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways and Ayush, Sarbananda Sonowal, said, “Under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji, India is cruising towards becoming the third largest economy in the world.

The developmental initiative launched under PM Modiji’s guidance is pivotal to make our ports world class, propelling our movement towards making Viksit Bharat during Amrit Kaal.

With the maritime sector taking the lead in powering economic growth of India, the initiative launched by PM Narendra Modi today, will further strengthen our ports, empower coastal communities, and generate huge employment avenues.

This is a true realisation of Modi Ki Guarantee, where every citizen is becoming an important part of the developmental effort towards making our country Atmanirbhar.”

Adding further, Sarbananda Sonowal said, “It is an honour to be present in this pious land of Tamil Nadu with its rich maritime heritage. With Modi ji’s untiring effort and a decade of visionary leadership towards nation building, our nation today has experienced exponential growth in all spheres of human endeavour, ensuring social justice, security and economic opportunity to all.

Since 2014, more than 45 projects have been initiated or implemented in 3 central government ports in Tamil Nadu, and more than ₹16,000 crores have been invested. Only two years ago, Prime Minister Narendra Modi assured the people of India that the government would take steps to make the VOC port in Tamil Nadu the first transhipment hub of the east coast of India.

Today, true to his commitment to ‘Modi ki Guarantee,’ the initiatives launched by Prime Minister Modi ji will transform the VOC port as the transhipment hub of the east coast of India.

While it will bring economic efficiency, and cost benefits, it will act as a multiplier to our coastal economy and generate employment avenues. The launch of India’s first indigenous Green Hydrogen Fuel Cell Inland Waterway Vessel has reinforced PM Narendra Modiji’s Make In India initiative.

With the sankalp for a Viksit Bharat under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji, we are ready to achieve even greater heights in the infrastructure logistics in line with the Amrit Kaal.”

Governor of Tamil Nadu, Shri R N Ravi, Union Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Shri Sarbananda Sonowal and Union Minister of State, Dr L Murugan were present on the occasion among others.

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