Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation, on February 26, 2018 laid the foundation stone for setting up of a National Technology Centre for Ports, Waterways and Coasts (NTCPWC) at IIT Chennai.
The Union Ministry of Shipping and IIT Chennai also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in this regard.
National Technology Centre for Ports, Waterways and Coasts (NTCPWC)
• NTCPWC will be set up under the Union Shipping Ministry’s flagship 'Sagarmala Programme '.
• It will act as a technology arm of the Ministry of Shipping for providing engineering and technological inputs and support for Ports, Inland Waterways Authority of India and other institutions.
• It will carry on applied research in the areas of 2D and 3D Modelling of ocean, coastal and estuarine flows, sediment transport, navigation, siltation, port and coastal engineering-structures, autonomous platforms and vehicles and hydrodynamics of ocean renewable energy.
• It will provide indigenous software and technology and will address port and maritime issues with models and simulations.
• It will not only help generate new technology and innovations but also work towards their successful commercialization.
• It will provide learning opportunities for the people working in Ministry of Shipping.
Funds allocation for NTCPWC
• NTCPWC will be set up at a cost of Rs 70.53 crore. This cost will be shared by Ministry of Shipping, Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) and the Major Ports.
• Ministry of Shipping’s grant is towards capital expenditure for creating facilities like Field Research Facility (FRF), Sedimentation and Erosion Management Test Basin and Ship/Tow Simulator.
• The centre will be self sustainable in three years through industry consultancy projects for port and maritime sector.
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How NTCPWC will be beneficial?
• The setting up of NTCPWC will give a boost to the development of indigenous technology relevant to the port and maritime sector in India.
• It will also be a major contribution towards Union Government’s ‘Make in India” programme and will provide a push to 'Sagarmala programme'.
• It will be a hub for latest technology tools and reduce the dependence over foreign institutions.
• It will also reduce the cost of research drastically and result in cost and time savings for work in the port and maritime sector.
• Sagarmala Project is associated with maritime, waterways and coastline in India.
• The Union Government approved the Sagarmala programme on 25 March 2015 to harness India’s 7500 km long coastline, 14500 km of potentially navigable waterways.
• Approximately 95 per cent of trade of Indian merchandise occurs via seaways and there was a need for a systematic approach for development of coastline. Sagarmala project is an answer to that need.
• Sagarmala Project is aimed at reducing cost and time of transporting domestic cargo and locating future industrial capacities near the coast so as to lower logistics cost of bulk commodities.