The state of Odisha has requested the federal government to establish a maritime university in the state to facilitate and promote maritime study, training, and research. Minister for Planning and Convergence, Commerce and Transport PadmanabhaBehera requested the Centre to examine the proposal and assist in the establishment of the university for the future development of the maritime sector on the east coast of the country. He was attending the 3rd meeting of the National Sagarmala Apex Committee (NSAC) on Friday in New Delhi.
Maritime transport is extremely important for both economic and cultural development
“Maritime transport is extremely important for both economic and cultural development. Around 95 per cent of India’s trade by volume and 70 pc by value move through maritime transport, which shows the importance of ports and their contribution in sustaining the growth of the Indian economy. Once set up, the maritime university will promote maritime studies and research,” he said.
The Minister also placed demands for three railway line projects and urged the Ministry for Ports, Shipping and Waterways to resolve the long pending issues regarding the inviolable independence of coastal states in the matter of regulation and administration of non-major ports and non nationalised waterways.
“Although the Ministry had last year given an assurance to address our concerns appropriately, no tangible improvement is noticed. We, therefore, request for proper examination at the time of finalising the Indian Port bill,” Behera said. He demanded the completion of Gopalpur-Rairakhol, Buramara-Chakulia and Badampahar-Keonjhar Railway Link Projects at the earliest.
Since the present rail connectivity arrangement is posing a constraint for future growth of rail-borne traffic to Gopalpur port, the proposed Gopalpur-Rairakhol line would provide an important port connectivity link.