Kochi | The Centre would give top priority to get maximum ‘big orders’ for public sector Cochin Shipyard Ltd, Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari said today and sought optimum utilisation of assets of the Cochin Port.
Our priority is how to get maximum big orders to Cochin Shipyard. I will see that CSL will get maximum orders, Gadkari told reporters after visiting Cochin Port and Shipyard.
The minister also visited INS Vikrant, the first indigenously built Aircraft carrier of the Indian navy, built at the yard in which the second phase of work was on.
The Union Government will fully back all expansion initiatives of CSL, including giving land at nominal rate.
The government was trying to stitch collaborations with Korean and Australian companies for the construction of lightweight vessels and Hovercraft, the minister said.
CSL needed a good order back up to carry out its expansion and growth plans at a considerable investment, Gadkari said and advised CSL to examine the possibility of taking up building of lightweight aluminium craft as there was potential for high speed ferry craft in the country.
On the Cochin Port Trust (CPT), which is also facing huge loses due to under-utilisation of the International Container Transshipment Terminal at nearby Vallarpadam, and LNG terminal at Puthuvype, the minister said, There is need to make a mindset for development. There is need for a positive change.
The Vallarpadam terminal compared to Colombo, had several advantages, he said adding solutions will be found to the problems being faced.The assets have been converted as dead assets. We are not getting returns, he said.
The minister appealed to chief minister Oommen Chandy, to find a solution to the problems relating to laying of GAIL pipelines through the state which would only ensure optimum utilisation of the LNG terminal at Puthuvype.
The minister said he was against Port land being leased to private persons.
Kerala has lot of potential and the land can be utilised for tourism purposes or for setting up facilities for ship building or ship breaking facilities.
Fresh initiatives are being taken by Prime Minister and Shipping Ministry for bringing LNG shipbuilding technology to India, which would place the country among the top shipbuilders of the world,he said.
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