Maritime Cluster project to make headway with support of Government

The Konkan Maritime Cluster (KMC), Verna which was launched in 2020,  was delayed due to the Covid pandemic and also by a recession in the maritime sector. It has started making progress this year, as the government has floated tenders for the supply of machinery and other infrastructure works for the project.

The project aims to boost the shipping and shipbuilding industry in the state. It will create common facilities for shipbuilders and companies in the marine sector that will want to avail the facilities offered by the cluster.

This project is India’s first maritime cluster and is expected to be fully commissioned by the end of the year. Chief Minister, Dr Pramod Sawant said that the maritime cluster is expected to generate at least 3000 jobs.

The Directorate of Industries, Trade, and Commerce (DITC) has floated six tenders for the purchase of machinery, a painting booth, an industrial waste disposal plant, an equipment testing facility, and other related services for the cluster.

A government source informed that the tenders are valued at around 13 crore and are a part of the project outlay of 16.21 crore which is inclusive of the cost of the land and the expenditure incurred on the work-shed.

The project was also delayed due to difficulty in the contribution of funds by local MSMEs. These MSMEs which are members of the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), were unable to contribute towards the share capital as their businesses were adversely affected by the economic slowdown during the pandemic.

The source added that the construction of the work shed by the MSME members of the cluster is a prerequisite for the government to chip in with funds.

With the shed nearly complete the project is now ready to take off. The first phase of the project is expected to be completed by April this year, while the second phase which consists of the purchase of computers, and software packages will take off in a few months.

The KMC is being set up under the Cluster Development Scheme (CDS) of the MSME ministry and is the first MSME cluster in the state. To set up the cluster, local MSMEs applied for industrial plots in the Verna Industrial Estate.

GIDC allotted 14,380 sq.m of land for the project while the cluster facilities are for the design and manufacture of ships and other marine vessels.

The maritime cluster is being implemented by the Khadi and Village Industries Board, Goa, while the DITC is the nodal agency for the project.

“The SPV presently comprises around 36 members, which is expected to go up to 110 members once the project is completed,” said an official in KVIC-Goa.



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