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PM Modi Flags Off 1st Indigenous Hydrogen Fuel Cell Ferry

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday virtually launched India’s first indigenously-developed and built hydrogen fuel cell ferry, in Kochi, Kerala. The Prime Minister joined the ceremony in virtual mode from Thoothukudi in Tamil Nadu.

PM Modi Flags Off 1st Indigenous Hydrogen Fuel Cell Ferry

Why In News

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday virtually launched India’s first indigenously-developed and built hydrogen fuel cell ferry, in Kochi, Kerala. The Prime Minister joined the ceremony in virtual mode from Thoothukudi in Tamil Nadu.
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All You Need To Know

  • Participating from Thoothukudi, he launched the inland waterway vessel, which is part of the Harit Nauka initiative—a pilot project aimed at showcasing the technology for the maritime sector.
  • Embracing green hydrogen as a maritime fuel takes centre stage in India’s dedication to a sustainable future, targeting net zero emissions by the year 2070.
  • Vessel has been built at the Cochin Shipyard. The pilot vessel is a 24-metre catamaran which can carry 50 passengers with fully air-conditioned passenger space.
  • It will make urban mobility smooth and easy, according to a release issued by Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL).
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  • The flagging off of the vessel was part of a major programme organised in Thoothukudi in Tamil Nadu to mark the laying of the foundation stone for a ₹17,300-crore project in Thoothukudi.
  • These included foundation stone-laying for the outer harbour at the V.O. Chidambaranar Port, dedication of 75 lighthouses across 10 States and Union territories and dedication of various rail and road network projects.
  • Mr. Modi said the hydrogen cell-powered inland waterway vessel under the Harit Nauka initiative is a gift of the people of Tamil Nadu for Kashi.
  • He said that he witnessed the enthusiasm and affection of the people of Tamil Nadu in Kashi Tamil Sangamam.
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  • The vessel built at CSL underscores the pioneering step for embracing clean energy solutions and aligning with the nation’s net-zero commitments, he said. The V.O.Chidambaranar Port is also the first Green Hydrogen Hub Port of the country and the projects include a desalination plant, hydrogen production and bunkering facility.
  • “Tamil Nadu will go a long way with regard to the alternatives that the world is exploring today”, he said.
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  • Mr. Modi said the electrification and doubling of rail lines will further improve connectivity between South Tamil Nadu and Kerala, while also easing the congestion in Tirunelveli and Nagercoil sectors.
  • The hydrogen fuel vessel has fully home-grown technology and it can be replicated in other parts of the country for urban mobility application, according to CSL.
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Harit Nauka initiative

  • The Government of India also aims to foster the confidence of the stakeholders in the maritime sector and usher them towards transitioning to greener and cleaner fuels as emphasized under the Harit Nauka- Inland Vessels Green Transition Guidelines, published on 8th January 2024.
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  • The Harit Nauka Guidelines shows MoPSW’s commitment to transform the maritime landscape by adopting green vessels & establishing operationalization of the green ecosystem.
  • It also aims to embrace low/zero emission sources of fuel & attain 100% green vessels in the Indian waters by 2047.

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