Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who on Sunday dedicated to the nation Bharat Petroleum's Propylene Derivatives petrochemical complex at Kochi Refinery worth Rs 6,000 crore and Inland Waterways Authority's Roll-on/Roll-off vessels, at Willingdon Island, said the government is taking many measures to improve tourism in Kerala.
“Today, we are here to celebrate the development of Kerala and India. With these new projects we will energise the growth trajectory of India,” he said at a function in Kochi.
“This new PDP complex will lead our mission to be Aatmanirbhar. With this new complex, foreign exchange will be saved, a wide range of industries would gain, and employment opportunities will be generated," he said, adding the RoRo container service will shorten distance and make operations cost effective.
He further urged young people to come up with innovative tourism-related projects. "India has moved from 64th to 35th position in world tourism. We can do a lot more to improve this," the PM said.
Modi also laid the foundation stone of Cochin Port Trust's South Coal Berth. "Economic growth requires augmented capacity expansion. The south coal berth inaugurated today will help in this," the PM said while adding that the government is looking at creating infrastructure for the future generation.
He also said this year's budget will hugely benefit Kerala. Regarding the Centre's fight against COVID-19, Modi said the government was considerate to the needs of the Indian diaspora in the Gulf. "Over 50 lakh people returned to India through our Vande Bharat Mission, and many of them were from Kerala."
On a brief visit to Kerala, the Prime Minister also inaugurated the Cochin Port Trust's International Cruise Terminal and Cochin Shipyard's Vigyana Sagar, a campus for Marine Engineering Training Institute.
BPCL said the Propylene Derivative Petrochemical Project (PDPP) located close to its Kochi Refinery here will produce Acrylic Acid, Oxo-Alcohol and Acrylates, which are predominantly imported, at present.
These products have applications in paints and coatings, solvents, adhesives, water treatment chemicals, construction industry and super absorbent polymer among others. The two new Roll-on/Roll-off vessels, deployed between Bolgatty and Willingdon Island on National Waterway-3, will have the capacity to carry six 20-feet trucks, three 20-feet trailer trucks, three 40-feet trailer trucks and 30 passengers each.
Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Union Ministers Dharmendra Pradhan and Mansukh L Mandaviya attended the event.
At a press conference here on Saturday, Oil minister Pradhan said an investment of over Rs 6,000 crore has been made in the state through these projects which are being either dedicated/inaugurated or initiated.
The dedication of Propylene Derivatives Petrochemical Complex at BPCL Kochi Refinery marks the first major endeavour in India, either in public or private sector, to produce Niche Petrochemicals which are predominantly being imported to the country, he said. Minister of State for Shipping Mandaviya said the Sagarika International Cruise Terminal at Cochin Port will open up new vistas of business development in travel, tourism and allied areas.
Reconstruction of the South Coal Berth will ensure quick and efficient handling of cargo meant for Fertilizers And Chemicals of Travancore (FACT) which is showing outstanding performance in recent years, he said. The Roll-on/Roll-off (RO-RO) vessels between Bolgatty and Willingdon Island will help container carrying vehicles to circumvent the Kochi city roads, thereby ensuring seamless traffic and fuel saving.
The Marine Engineering Training Institute would groom 114 Mechanical/Naval/Architect Engineers every year in a sector which is on a high growth trajectory, the minister said.
(With inputs from PTI)