Cochin, Nov 17 (IANS) In a bid to boost India’s shipping sector, Union Minister of Shipping Nitin Gadkari on Friday announced setting up of a Centre of Excellence in Maritime and Shipbuilding (CEMS) and also laid the foundation stone for Cochin shipyard’s Rs 970-crore International Ship Repair Facility here.
As per the plan, the centre will have campuses at Vishakhapatnam and Mumbai and will provide industry-relevant skill development, equip students with employable engineering and technical skills in the port and maritime sector.
The centre — a collaboration between the Ministry of Shipping and Siemens — is also envisaged to boost government’s pet Sagarmala programme.
“It will help meet the domestic skill requirement in ship design, manufacturing and operating, maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) and aims to become an international nodal centre in South Asia, attracting students from neighbouring countries like Sri Lanka and Bangladesh,” said Gadkari during the event where he also unveiled the CEMS logo.
The minister also laid foundation stone for Cochin Shipyard Ltd (CHL)’s Rs 970 crore ship repair facility, which will double the number of ships that can be repaired every year.
Stating that Cochin was all set to become a global ship repair hub, Gadkari said the facility would be built at the Cochin Port Trust where the CSL has leased out a 40-acre plot for the project.
“CSL will set up a ship lift system of size 130m x 25m with lifting capacity of 6,000 tonne and six work stations. The facility can repair up to 85 vessels, and CSL will thereby be almost doubling the number of ships that can be repaired every year,” according to a Shipping Ministry statement.
The International Ship Repair facility will be a state-of-the-art facility that can handle a major chunk of small- and medium-sized vessels plying in India.
Gadkari said the industry would also generate about 6,000 direct and indirect jobs, besides giving rise to a number of ancillary industries in the state, thus having a multiplier effect on employment and economy.
A conference, titled “Build The Ship – 2017” was also organised by the Ministry of Shipping here.
The event deliberated upon the recommendations of a study regarding the growth strategies for promotion of shipbuilding, ship design, ship repair and marine ancillaries in India.
Later Gadkari visited Munnar, where he laid the foundation stone for rehabilitation and upgradation of NH-85 from Bodimettu to Munnar to two-laned with paved shoulder.
The 42-km project has an estimated cost of Rs 380.76 crore.
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