Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi, participated in the grand sesquicentenary (150th anniversary) celebrations of the Kolkata Port Trust on January 12.

The Prime Minister unveiled a plaque at the site of original port jetties to commemorate 150 years of the Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT).
Mr Modi termed that it is a privile-ge to be a part of the 150th anniversary celebrations of the KoPT—a historic symbol of the country’s water power.

This port has stood witness to many a historical moment in the country like India getting independence from foreign rule. From Satyagraha to Swachhagraha, this port has seen the country changing. This port has not only seen consignors, but also the carriers of knowledge who have left a mark on the country and the world. In a way, this port of Kolkata symbolises India’s aspiration for industrial, spiritual and self-reliance,” the Prime Minister added.

The Prime Minister also launched the Port Anthem during the event.

PM stated that the long coastline of India from Gujarat’s Lothal Port to Kolkata Port was not only engaged in trade and business but also in spread of civilisation and culture across the world.

“Our government believes that our coasts are gateways to development. This is the reason the government started Sagarmala project for modernising infrastructure and improving connectivity of the ports. Thirty six hundred projects worth more than Rs 6 lakh crore have been identified under this scheme. Of these, more than 200 projects worth more than Rs 3 lakh crore are underway and about 125 have been completed. Kolkata Port is connected to the industrial centres of eastern India due to the construction of river waterways. And trade has become easier with countries like Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Myanmar,” PM added.

Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Port Trust PM also announced Kolkata Port Trust to be named after Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee. “Dr Mukherjee, the son of Bengal, laid the foundation for industrialisation in the country and has been very instrumental in the development of projects such as Chittaranjan Locomotive Factory, Hindustan Aircraft Factory, Sindri Fertilizer Factory and Damodar Valley Corporation.  I also remember Babasaheb Ambedkar. Dr Mukherjee and Babasaheb gave a new vision to post-Independence India,” PM said.

Welfare of the pensioners of KoPT

Mr Narendra Modi also handed over a cheque of Rs 501 crore towards final instalment to meet the deficit of pension fund of retired and existing employees of the Kolkata Port Trust.

Prime Minister also felicitated two oldest pensioners of the Kolkata Port Trust, Mr Nagina Bhagat and Mr Naresh Chandra Chakraborty (105 and 100 years, respectively).

Prime Minister inaugurated Kaushal Vikas Kendra and Pritilata Chhatra Avas for 200 tribal girl students of Sunderbans. 

PM said that every effort is being made by the Central government for the development of West Bengal, particularly for the development of the poor, underprivileged and the exploited. He said that as soon as the West Bengal state government approves of the Ayushman Bharat Yojana and PM Kisan Samman Nidhi, people of West Bengal will also start getting benefits from these schemes.

The Prime Minister also inaugurated the upgraded ship repair facility of Cochin Kolkata Ship Repair Unit at Netaji Subhas Dry Dock.

PM inaugurated the full rake handling facility and dedicated the upgraded railway infrastructure of Kolkata Dock System of KoPT for smooth cargo movement and improving turnaround time.

PM also launched the Mechanisation of Berth No.3 at Haldia Dock Complex of KoPT and a proposed riverfront development scheme, informed a release.