Minister of Road Transport & Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari referring to the public-private participation ( PPP ) in road sector, said that this model in inland waterways sector is being studied. Joint ventures are also being explored as Centre and State Governments have to work together to bring this sector in the forefront of infrastructure development. Inland Waterways is economically most viable sector and it should be an integral part of infrastructure development said Nitin at the ‘National Conference on Inland Waterways: Issues, Options and Strategies’ here today.
Inland waterways would lower the cost of production and make the prices more competitive in the global market. This sector has a huge potential for generating employment for the youth, he said. Government plans to establish facilities for ship-building and ship-repairing at Guwahati, Kandla and Andaman & Nicobar. In the same vein, 300 Light Houses and 1100 islands would be developed as tourist hubs. He also expressed the hope that the Bill for declaring 101 waterways as National Waterways would be passed in the next session.