[India], Nov 3 (ANI): Union Shipping and Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari on Saturday confirmed that PepsiCo is moving 16 containers from Kolkata to Varanasi on inland vessel MV RN Tagore over river Ganga.
Gadkari said this is the first time after independence that a container is being moved using an inland vessel.
"This should have been the biggest news of the week in India. For the first time since independence, a container is moving on inland vessel. PepsiCo is moving 16 containers from Kolkata to Varanasi on vessel MV RN Tagore, over river Ganga. Such a huge accomplishment!#SagarMala" he tweeted.
Furthermore, Gadkari announced that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will receive the container vessel which traveled for the first time on Inland waterways NW1 Ganga at Varanasi on November 12 at the newly-developed Multimodel Terminal dedicated to the nation.
"Completed in record time. Shall also dedicate to nation Babatpur Airport to Varanasi National Highway and Varanasi Ring Road," read another tweet of the minister.
Under SagarMala, 266 port modernisation projects with an investment of more than Rs 1.45 lakh crore have been identified for implementation over the next 10 years, Gadkari said on Friday.
During an interactive session on promotion and development of cruise tourism in India, Gadkari also announced that Rs 500 crore will be given to the Shipping Corporation of India under the SagarMala programme to purchase vessels.
Last year, Gadkari had announced that 14 Coastal Economic Zones have been planned under the SagarMala project, with two mega food processing parks planned at Kakinada and Satara at a cost of Rs 140 Crore. In addition to this, he had said that 111 waterways are being developed as National Waterways, which will reduce logistics costs, thus benefiting the food processing industry.
The development of Ganga and Brahmaputra rivers for transport will also make it easier to move local produce to Bangladesh, he had said.
The prime objective of the Sagarmala project is to promote port-led direct and indirect development and to provide infrastructure to transport goods to and from ports quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively. (ANI)