Nagpur: The rising freight cost due to spiralling fuel prices could be brought down using waterways, which would also help in reducing the pollution, said Union minister Nitin Gadkari. He was addressing a virtual seminar on Prime Minister Gati Shakti Scheme.
Pointing out that the overall transportation cost was on a higher side in India in comparison to other countries, the MP said waterways is a much cheaper alternative as compared to other modes.
“The future is to increase the nation’s freight capacity. The country also needs to increase freight traffic by water and to save the cost. The development of water transport is very important for the country. Efforts should be made to ensure that passenger transport and freight in the north-eastern states is carried out by this mode of transport,” said Gadkari.
Adding that development of shipping and the use of biofuels in all types of vehicles will be a game changer in the future, he said it was equally important to save freight cost.
“Under the Sagarmala scheme, 576 projects worth Rs 12 lakh crore have been undertaken. In 2019, 199 projects worth Rs 2.5 lakh crore have been started and another of Rs 1 lakh crore projects were awarded. Out of this, 69 projects worth Rs 14,000 crore have been completed. About 30 multimodal logistics parks worth Rs 2 lakh crore are being set up in the country,” said Gadkari.