What does the leisure boating industry need to grow?
India needs marinas to propel the leisure boating industry. This is a billion dollar industry world-wide that needs attention of the Govt. to grow and contribute to the overall economic progress of the nation. The first priority should be to build a marina in Mumbai.
What are the main problems?
The development of marinas can be compared to development of golf courses. The demand and availability of both are reflective of the standard of living in a particular society. With improvement in education and economic standards, Indians will seek more leisure activities like boating which will drive the marina industry. There some regulatory restrictions hindering the development of marinas in India but these are being addressed by bodies like the Indian Marine Federation and the CII.
What is the need of the hour?
The government should focus on framing proper rules for pleasure boating. This will ease a lot of uncertainty that hinders growth of the boating industry in India. They should also allocate a budget for development of marinas in certain identified locations India. Almost the entire eastern foreshore in Bombay is owned by the government – Bombay Port or the defense ministry. The government needs to be convinced to spare there estate to develop a marina. The western foreshore being exposed is not as suitable for marinas development.
How do you assess India’s marinas capabilities in the next five- to ten years?
I think we should have a world class marina with the next couple of years. I Estimate we can have up to 10,000 berths in the next ten years.