Maritime sector should adapt to climate change: President Murmu | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Maritime sector should adapt to climate change: President Murmu

Oct 27, 2023 04:10 PM IST

Speaking on the occasion, the President said that India has a remarkable marine position with a 7,500 km long coastline. She added that India has 14,500 kilometres of potentially navigable waterways, apart from a strategic location on important maritime trade routes

The maritime sector needs to adapt greener practices to mitigate climate change, said President Droupadi Murmu during her address at the 8th convocation of the Indian Maritime University in Chennai.

President Droupadi Murmu graced the 8th convocation of Indian Maritime University at Chennai (Twitter/@rashtrapatibhvn)
President Droupadi Murmu graced the 8th convocation of Indian Maritime University at Chennai (Twitter/@rashtrapatibhvn)

“One of the gravest challenges of our time is climate catastrophe, which includes rising temperatures and sea levels,” Murmu said.

“The maritime sector needs to be agile, proactive and swift in adaptation and mitigation of climate change which risks disrupting livelihoods, particularly among vulnerable communities,” she added.

Addressing the students, the President advised the graduates that they have a larger responsibility towards the nation and an obligation towards the health of ecology and the ecosystem.

“The need of the hour is sustainable and efficient maritime-related activities including shipping,” she said. “More resilient and greener practices in the ocean are also essential for a healthy ecosystem,” added Murmu.

Speaking on the occasion, the President said that India has a remarkable marine position with a 7,500 km long coastline. She added that India has 14,500 kilometres of potentially navigable waterways, apart from a strategic location on important maritime trade routes.

“The country’s maritime sector plays a vital role in its trade and economic growth, as 95% of the country’s trade by volume and 65% of the trade by value is undertaken through maritime transport,” the President said.

She added that the coastal economy sustains over four million fishermen and India is the second largest fish-producing nation in the world with a fleet of about 250,000 fishing boats.

There are several challenges on this front, she said, citing the example of container ship cargo being diverted to nearby foreign ports due to depth restrictions.

“In the merchant and civilian shipbuilding industry, we need to aim for the highest standards of efficiency, efficacy and competitiveness,” the President said.

“The operational efficiency and turnaround time of Indian ports need to match the global average benchmarks. India does not figure in the top 20 nations when it comes to the annual port calls. In the list of 50 best container ports worldwide, we only have two. The Indian ports must address infrastructural and operational challenges before they graduate to the next level. The majority of our fishing fleet is yet to be mechanised,” Murmu said.

The President said that following the successful landing of Chandrayaan-3 on the Moon’s South Pole, India is preparing for its first manned deep ocean mission– ‘Samudrayaan’ to explore 6,000-metre deep ocean waters and to study the deep sea resources and biodiversity assessment.

Earlier this month, the third edition of the Global Maritime India Summit attracted an investment of Rs10 lakh crore, which will help in achieving ‘Amrit Kaal Vision 2047’, said Murmu, adding that the Union Government is working to realise its vision of ‘Ports for Prosperity and Ports for Progress’.

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