Thiruvananthapuram | With an aim to decongest roads and tap the potential of the state’s sprawling coastline, Kerala government is eying to shift 40 per cent of its cargo transport to coastal shipping by 2020.
The objective of the programme was to woo people, who now depend on road and railways for transport, to cost-effective and environment-friendly water transport sector, Minister for Ports and Museums Kadannapally Ramachandran informed the state Assembly today.
“We expect that 40 per cent of the state’s total cargo transport, now carried out via roads, can be attracted to the coastal shipping programme by 2020 and 50 per cent by 2030,” he said, replying during the Question Hour.
As part of the programme, a number of ports from Vizhinjam here to Azhikkal in Kannur district would be developed, he said.
Under the coastal shipping programme, the government has also plans to launch high-speed passenger vessels connecting Kochi-Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi-Kozhikode sector with private partnership, the minister said.
There are 14 non-major ports in the state Vizhinjam, Valiyathura, Neendakara, Alappuzha, Kottayam, Vadakara, Kodungallur/Ponnani, Kozhikode/Beypore, Talassery, Kannur, Neeleswaram/Manjeswaram, Azhikkal, Munambam and Kasaragod, he said.
Of this, Vizhinjam, Kollam, Beypore and Azhikkal were operational ones, he said adding that Rs 50 crore had been earmarked for the development of Azhikkal in the state budget.
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