New Delhi | All set to make its maiden foray into catamaran manufacturing, Cochin Shipyard will build four such popular vessels, used for cruising and other purposes, for Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said. This follows the state-owned company’s recent feat under which it will build cryogenic carriers that transport natural gas frozen in liquid form after a pact with GTT France, the world leader in design and technology provider of containment systems for transportation of LNG.
Cochin Shipyard is building four catamarans for Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The vessels should be ready in about two to two-and-a-half years, Road Transport Highways and Shipping Minister Gadkari told. This is done under ‘Make in India’ drive and the vessels would be used for cruising and other purposes, Gadkari said. The cost of the vessels, according to an official, is estimated at about Rs 1,400 crore. The move will not only ease transportation hardships faced by the people of Andaman and Nicobar but would also give a fillip to cruising in the area. No new ships were acquired during the last 10 years by Andaman and Nicobar administration and the situation led to difficulties for passengers as well as tourists.
Gadkari said the vessels built at Cochin Shipyard would be of international standards. Catamarans are popular among charterers, cruisers, and even casual sailors and have a multi-hulled watercraft design featuring two parallel hulls of equal size with much space. Cochin Shipyard, incorporated in 1972, can build and repair the largest vessels in India. It can build ships up to 1,10,000 DWT and repair ships up to 1,25,000 DWT. The yard has delivered two of Indias largest double hull Aframax tankers each of 95,000 DWT.
Cochin Shipyard has secured shipbuilding orders from major companies from Europe and Middle East and is nominated to build the country’s first indigenous Air Defense Ship. Gadkari has recently urged US industrialists to invest in seaplanes in India, saying, We want to encourage seaplanes. A small nation like Maldives has a fleet of 47 seaplanes but India despite having vast potential has none. I urge industrialists from the US to come to India in the area.
Here is the potential. He said developing waterways would be a game changer for the Indian economy and his government was according top most priority to develop inland waterways comprising rivers, lakes, canals, creeks and backwaters which extend to about 14,500 km across the country. Gadkari said that a number of steps were taken to bring India among the league of advanced nations whose economy thrived on waterways development. Despite waterways being a cleaner and cheaper mode of transportation, unfortunately only 3.5 per cent of the cargo is transported through this mode in the country as against 44 per cent in Japan and Korea, 40 per cent in Europe and 47 per cent in China.
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