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Vizhinjam's Path to Prosperity: India's Blue Economy Vision.



  Oct 25, 2023

Promise of Vizhinjam: A Vision for India’s Blue Economy



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Introduction:

India’s maritime sector holds vast potential, waiting to be tapped. The Vizhinjam port, located in Kerala, is one such promise in the vast landscape of opportunities that the Indian maritime domain presents. Beyond being a mere port, Vizhinjam symbolizes a vision for India’s blue economy - a holistic approach to leveraging the nation’s oceanic resources.

FAQs about Vizhinjam and India’s Blue Economy Vision:

1. What is the significance of the Vizhinjam port?

Vizhinjam, deemed as “India’s first deepwater port,” has the capacity to berth the largest merchant ships and handle a vast amount of container traffic.
It’s strategically located near international east-west shipping lanes, positioning it as a potential key trans-shipment hub.

2. Why is Vizhinjam considered a game-changer for Kerala’s infrastructure?

The arrival of the Chinese flagged merchant ship, Zhen Hua 15, marked the inauguration of the Vizhinjam port. The port’s completion has been deemed a “significant milestone” in Kerala’s infrastructure development, offering the potential to transform the state’s economic landscape.

3. How will Vizhinjam impact India’s EXIM cargo handling?

Given its strategic location, Vizhinjam could potentially eliminate the need to send a significant portion of India’s EXIM cargo to foreign ports, making the cargo handling process more efficient and cost-effective.

4. What challenges has the maritime sector in India faced?

Historical neglect, poor infrastructure, lack of vision, and lack of a coherent long-term plan have hindered the growth of India’s maritime sector. While other nations have surged ahead, India’s maritime sector remains in need of a comprehensive modernization plan.

5. What is the ‘Blue Economy’ vision for India?

The ‘Blue Economy’ vision for India encompasses more than just port-led development. It focuses on bolstering the merchant shipbuilding industry, building a robust shipping fleet,
creating a mechanized ocean-going fishing fleet, and diving deep into seabed exploitation. This vision aims to harness the ocean’s resources for economic growth while ensuring maritime security and maintaining a prominent international standing.

6. What administrative structures are proposed for the maritime reform?

For effective maritime reform, the establishment of a ministry of maritime affairs and a national oceanic administration with cross-ministerial participation is essential. These structures will ensure a holistic and coordinated approach to developing and implementing maritime strategies.

Conclusion:

The Vizhinjam port and the broader vision for India’s blue economy signify a promising future for the country’s maritime sector.
A unified, long-term plan that survives regime changes and focuses on the comprehensive development of the maritime domain is the need of the hour. India has the potential to emerge as a maritime powerhouse, provided it harnesses its resources effectively and strategically.

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