The number of cruise vessels calling at Mumbai port is expected to increase from around 80 this year to nearly 950 in the next five years and the Mumbai port trust will be undertaking various projects with the projected tourist flow, said union minister of shipping Nitin Gadkari.
Addressing stakeholders at the foundation-stone laying ceremony of International cruise terminal at Mumbai Port in Mumbai on Thursday, Gadkari said there is a huge tourist potential in Mumbai. He said MbPT has proposed projects worth Rs6,500 crore, including 27 projects that are in pipeline and ready for launch in upcoming year.
The Sagar Mala programme envisages projects worth Rs2,41,000 crore for Mumbai and Maharashtra considering the availability of the sea front, the minister said.
Gadkari also said that 24 applications have been received for Special Economic Zones (SEZ), of which the JNPT SEZ alone us capable of providing employment to around 1.5 lakh youth, mostly from the neighbouring areas of Raigad and Konkan, in the next 3 years.
At the same time, the minister expressed concerns over pollution of Mithi river and drainage in the sea. These are two negative points of Mumbai, he said.
Gadkari appealed to the chief minister of Maharashtra for a new reclamation plan of 350 acres garden for Mumbaikars.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said that the biggest challenge is finding employment for the youth. When we invest in infrastructure sector then only we will achieve our goal. He accepted Gadkari's suggestion for new reclamation and assured for necessary action. BPT officials will be included In Special Planning Authority (SPA), he added.
Gadkari sees 10,000 seaplanes operating services in India in next 2 years