Director of Indian Maritime University, Visakhapatnam Centre, Mr. S.C.Mishra, while delivering the keynote address at Vizag Bay Investment Summit organised by Gravity 2.0, has said integrating coastal and inland shipping with road and rail networks can make significant contribution to the regional economic development of Visakhapatnam-Rajahmundry-Vijayawada region. He also urged that Visakhapatnam needs either the elevated or underground Metro Railway System at par with Chennai/Kochi/Mumbai port cities in India, while also stating that Visakhapatnam is one of the economically forward looking base of the country with strategic and vital industry sectors from Defence, Naval, Airforce, Public Sectors, Central and State entities located in Vizag. He said waterways and coastal shipping had greater potential to encourage improvement of the region by offering an economical transport solution to industries as well as people. There was potential to move 11 million tonnes (mt) of goods annually in the region, he noted.
He specifically urged the State and Central Governments to take up enhancement of Rail and Road infrastructure projects in Visakhapatnam so that the Port City will continue to march ahead with the current pace of vital developments taken up by the city of strategic importance.
The formation of a State Maritime Board was a prerequisite for the improvement of maritime industry. The Board would not only give a single window clearance for the project suggestions but also enable the government to plan improvement of infrastructure. The State government should learn from the experiences of similar boards in Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu, founder-director of Reveille Engineers Private Limited Captain Mr. Sitaram Nadimpalli said.
The Small Development Bank of India (SIDBI) expressed interest in the sector and SIDBI AGM Mr. T. Kameswar Rao said the fiscal institution would be keen to finance small and medium businesses with detailed project reports in the area of vessel design, ship building, ferry operations, and cargo liners.