Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday heaped praises on the father of the Constitution Dr BR Ambedkar and called him the architect of the water and river navigation policy in India. Modi was speaking at the inauguration of the Maritime Investment Summit 2016 in Mumbai.
"Many of us may not know that Babasaheb created two powerful institutions related to water, navigation and power. They were: The Central Waterways, Irrigation and Navigation Commission and The Central Technical Power Board. Dr Ambedkar is also the architect of the water and river navigation policy in India," said Modi.
The nation is also celebrating 125th birth anniversary of Dr BR Ambedkar on Thursday.
"We have embarked on the development of National Waterways in keeping with Babasaheb's vision and foresight. Dr Ambedkar emphasised importance of new waterways policy to lay the foundation for a regime of prosperity for millions of poor of India," said Modi while stating the reason behind organising the summit on April 14.
Highlight his government's effort to restore India's position in the global maritime sector, Modi said, "We Indians are inheritors of a glorious maritime heritage. It is my government's endeavour to revive and restore India's position of eminence in the global maritime sector. We want to modernise ports and integrate them with SEZs, Port based Smart Cities, industrial parks, warehouses, logistics parks."
Modi added that his vision is to increase port capacity from 1,400 million tonnes to 3,000 million tonnes by 2025 to provide employment to the youth.
"Long coastline of India along with diverse coastal regions and hard working coastal communities can become an engine of growth of India," Modi said.
Welcoming everyone to the Summit, Modi said, "Maritime transport can be the most extensive mode of transport. It is also the most eco-friendly mode of transport. Our life style, transport systems and trading behavior should not spoil the ecology of the oceans. Challenges of climate change have shown that even offshore human behavior can change the ecology of glaciers and oceans."