Strong inland waterways will be built to transform Andhra’s connectivity: Chandrababu Naidu

Hyderabad(PTI): Given that Andhra Pradesh has a long coastline, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Tuesday stressed on building a strong inland waterway system linking the ports to national highways and develop the state as a logistics hub for Southeast Asia.

Following up a meeting on Energy, Investments and Infrastructure on Monday, the Chief Minister held a review meeting on Maritime Concept Master Plan at his residence on Tuesday.

“Link the inland waterway system of Kakinada-Pondicherry and Kakinada-Bhadrachalam to the nearby ports,” he was quoted as saying in an official release.

“In addition, Visakhapatnam, Kakinada, Machilipatnam and Krishnapatnam ports should be developed as coastal cities,” he said referring to an example of improving inland waterways on the lines of China’s ‘One Belt, One Road model’.

To become a leading state in cargo traffic in India, the Chief Minister set a 10 per cent growth rate target for the next 10 years.

In this regard, Naidu directed officials to give prominence to the development of coastal parks based on maritime concept master plan.

He asked the officials to identify growth parameters for the development of Mega Interchange Hub near Amaravati (proposed state capital), Pharmaceutical Logistics Park in Visakhapatnam, Food and Electronics Logistics Park in Machilipatnam, Automobiles Logistics Park and Truck Terminals in Nellore.

Further, he proposed setting up skill development centres for youth in works related to cargo handling, container segregation and others.

“Approach Singapore Maritime University, Korea Research Institute and other international institutions to enhance the potential of the sector,” the Chief Minister said.

Drawing a comparison with Singapore that achieved considerable growth with its only Port of Singapore, (maritime industry contributes about 7% to Singapore’s GDP), Naidu stressed that Andhra Pradesh could achieve more, with a long coastline and 14 ports.

Urban Development Minister P Narayana, Secretary (Energy & Infrastructure) Ajay Jain, Principal Secretary to CM Satish Chandra were among other officials present, the release added.