The Kerala government is taking steps to boost transport of cargo through inland waterways and coastal shipping route in order to ease pressure on road infrastructure and also to reduce carbon footprint.
In this regard, the state government announced a subsidy of Rs 1 for every 1 tonne of cargo moved through the coastal shipping programme.
According to the state Minister for Ports K Babu, government aims to divert almost 20 to 40 percent of the present freight movement from roads through the sea.
He further said that Kerala became the first state in the country to offer such a subsidy for promoting coastal shipping.
Meanwhile, the minister recently inaugurated the dredging work at Kollam Port to raise the draft of the harbour from the present 6.5 meter to 9 meter.
The deepening of draft would enable ships with bigger tonnage to enter the port. After Vizhinjam, the government gave importance for the development of the Kollam Port.
An amount of Rs 5.7 crore had been allocated for the dredging work. Order had already been given for purchasing a container crane at a cost of Rs 12 crore for the Kollam Port.
A proposal of Rs 20 crore for the purpose submitted by the Port Department was under the consideration of the government, he said.