Two Assam-bound barges carrying fly ash sailed from Bihar for one of the longest hauls in India’s inland waterways via Bangladesh.
The two 1,000-tonne barges carrying 1,233 tonnes of bagged fly ash was flagged off at Kahalgaon in Bihar on Thursday. They are expected to reach Guwahati’s Pandu port in 20 days covering 2,085 km.
The fly ash is a by-product from the National Thermal Power Corporation’s Kahalgaon power plant.
Kahalgaon is on the banks of the Ganga, which is National Waterway 1. Pandu is on the Brahmaputra, the National Waterway 2.
According to the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), the journey of the two barges marks the commencement of a critical integrated movement through three waterways – NW1, NW2 and Indo-Bangladesh Protocol.
The Ganga and the Brahmaputra meet in Bangladesh after flowing into that country as the Padma and the Jamuna.
“The movement will evince confidence and interest in the inland waterways industry and vessel operators as more than 10 such pilot movements have been successfully completed lately on various stretches of National Waterways,” IWAI chairman Pravir Pandey said.
In July, IWAI had launched a dedicated portal called FOCAL to connect cargo owners and shippers with real time data on availability of vessels.
“More such movements of fly ash and pond ash from the super thermal power plants of NTPC are being planned on NW1,” Mr. Pandey said.
Fly ash is in demand as raw material in cement and brick industry and is also used for the purpose of land filling.