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The major Indian ports under Ministry of Ports, Shipping & Waterways, have registered an impressive growth rate in traffic movement at 6.94% during FY2021-22 over the previous fiscal year (Y-o-Y) is indicating sharp recovery operations post the pandemic lockdowns. The five major ports of the country recorded their highest ever traffic during the year.

In addition, the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), the statutory body in charge of the waterways in India under the Ministry, transported a total of 105 million tonnes of cargo through National Waterways, registering an impressive increase of 25.61% Y-o-Y basis.

The average turnaround time for container vessels at major ports has improved from 43.44 hours in 2014 to 26.58 hours in 2021.

The developments are in line with the objectives of Maritime India Vision given by the Ministry of Ports, Shipping & Waterways (PSW). This has resulted the Ministry to clock growth & improvement across its verticals. The effort put in to modernise, mechanise as well as digitise processes led to positive transformation leading to better cost & time in international trade contributing towards Ease of Doing Business, a government statement said.

Speaking on the occasion, the Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways, Sarbananda Sonowal, said, “Under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modiji, the Ministry of Ports, Shipping & Waterways is working diligently towards achieving major objectives of Maritime India Vision, 2030. During the last fiscal, the ministry put forth unwavering effort with an aim towards the vision of transformation through transportation. This has not only helped us inch closer towards achievement of these objectives within the specified time but also improving the performance of our major verticals. This trickles down towards ease of doing business and overall growth in trade and economic growth of the country."

During 2021-22, major ports witnessed a rise of 6.94% in traffic over last year. Five Major Ports recorded their highest ever traffic during FY 2021-22.

Moreover, then Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) through the IBP Route based on the protocol on Inland water transit and Trade (PIWTT) between India & Bangladesh has unlocked the value from the cargo trade in the region.

In line with the “Act East" policy of Prime Minister, the Ministry of Ports, Shipping & Waterways, has taken up several infrastructure projects on National Waterways-1, Indo-Bangladesh Protocol route, and NW2, through the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI). These steps have improved the connectivity with North Eastern Region (NER) through waterways, a ministry statement said: A new milestone was achieved in regional connectivity when Pandu Port in Guwahati received MV Lal Bahadur Shastri, the cargo vessel carrying 200 metric tonnes of foodgrain from Patna, by traversing 2,350 km through the Indo-Bangladesh Protocol (IBP) route.

Another vessel MV Ram Prasad Bismil, with two barges - Kalpana Chawla and APJ Abdul Kalam – successfully completed their voyage from Haldia with a consignment of 1,800 steel products from Haldia sailing through the Indo-Bangladesh Protocol route to Pandu Port at Guwahati.

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