The President of India, Smt Droupadi Murmu graced the Boita Bandana ceremony, being organized by the Paradip Port Authority, at Paradip today (November 27, 2023). She 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 next-gen Vessel Traffic Management and Information System.
Speaking on the occasion, the President said that remembering the historical memories of Baliyatra – a symbolic boat trip of merchants to the islands of Java, Sumatra, Bali etc every year is appreciable. Baliyatra is a unique festival celebrated in the memory of its glorious past. Celebrated since time immemorial, this festival is a symbol of the prosperity of maritime trade of Odisha. It also highlights the rich cultural consciousness of the people of Odisha.
The President said that 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.
The President said that maritime trade has been playing an important role in the trade and economic development of our country. She noted that 95 percent of India’s total trade in terms of volume and 65 percent in terms of value are done through sea transport. She stated that India’s ports 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. She said that the Sagarmala program is a commendable step in this direction. She stated that the Government of India is working to realize the vision of ‘Ports for Prosperity’ and ‘Ports for Progress’.
The President was happy to note that Paradip Port’s cargo handling capacity has doubled in the last decade. It is poised to become the largest port on the east coast. It also got the ‘Port of Operational Excellence Award’ at the Global Maritime India Summit – 2023. She expressed confidence that today 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.1