Maritime Development in Gujarat

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Maritime business is one of the prime business in Gujarat from thousands of years. History says the world's first tidal dock was built in Lothal around 2500 BC during the Harappan civilisation at Lothal near the present day Mangrol harbour in the Gujarat. Gujarat’s maritime history begins during the 3rd millennium BCE when inhabitants of the Indus Valley initiated maritime trading contact with Mesopotamia.[1] The Roman historian Strabo mentions an increase in Roman trade with India following the Roman annexation of Egypt.[2] By the time of Augustus up to 120 ships were setting sail every year from Myos Hormos to India.[3] As trade between India and the Greco-Roman world increased spices became the main import from India to the Western world,[4] bypassing silk and other commodities.[5] Indians were present in Alexandria[6] while Christian and Jew settlers from Rome continued to live in India long after the fall of the Roman empire,[7] which resulted in Rome's loss of the Red Sea ports,[8] previously used to secure trade with India by the Greco-Roman world since the Ptolemaic dynasty.[9] The Indian commercial connection with South East Asia proved vital to the merchants of Arabia and Persia during the 7th–8th century.

Gujarat is a pioneering, futuristic and entrepreneurial state of the country. In particular, Gujarat's maritime sector is considered to be the most proactive and well developed sectors of India. During the year 2011-12, ports in Gujarat handled about 259 million tonnes of cargo compared to 231 million tonnes handled during the previous year making a 12.12% increase in the traffic handled. Capacity of 39 MT was added during the current year 2011-12 augmenting the capacity of Gujarat ports to 323 MT.

The milestone achieved by the State of Gujarat in the port sector is by a virtue of its 1600 kms long coastline, its innovative strategic initiatives, proactive measures by the Government and above all a competent and channelized guidance provided by...
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