Bhubaneswar: President Droupadi Murmu graced the Boita Bandana ceremony, organised by the Paradip Port Authority, at the port town of Odisha on the occasion of Kartika Purnima today.
The President also virtually inaugurated a Multi Model Logistic Park as well as laid the foundation stones for new reservoir and water treatment plant for Port Township and the next generation Vessel Traffic Management and Information System at Paradip.
“Remembering the historical memories of Bali Yatra – a symbolic boat trip of merchants to the islands of Java, Sumatra, Bali etc every year is appreciable. Bali Yatra is a unique festival celebrated in the memory of Odisha’s glorious maritime past. Celebrated since time immemorial, this festival is a symbol of the prosperity of the maritime trade of Odisha. It also highlights the rich cultural consciousness of the people of the state,” said the President.
The sea has been a major means of strengthening India’s trade, commerce and international relations. Literature based on the sea has also enriched Indian culture. Odisha and other coastal states had a long and prosperous tradition of naval commerce. Apart from trade and commerce, those merchants also played an important role in spreading Indian art and culture abroad, she added.
The President said maritime trade has been playing an important role in the trade and economic development of our country. Around 95 per cent of India’s total trade in terms of volume and 65 per cent in terms of value are done through sea transport, revealed the President.
“The ports in India need to function with greater efficiency in line with the global standards. That is why, there is a need to further strengthen the infrastructure of Indian ports and increase their efficiency. The Sagarmala programme is a commendable step in this direction. The Centre is taking steps to realize the vision of ‘Ports for Prosperity’ and ‘Ports for Progress’,” she added.
The President was happy to note that Paradip Port’s cargo handling capacity has doubled in the last decade. It is all set to become the largest port on the east coast. Paradip port also got the ‘Port of Operational Excellence Award’ at the Global Maritime India Summit – 2023.
The President expressed confidence that the newly-inaugurated Multi-Modal Logistics Park will give a new direction to the transparent development of trade. She said that Vessel Traffic Management and Information System (VTMIS) enabled new modern signal stations will make navigation through this port more safe and orderly.