Minister of State for Shipping, Mansukh Mandaviya informed Lok Sabha on Thursday that the 12 operational national waterways in the country now carry 72.31 metric tonnes of cargo every year and the government has spent 526.80 crore for the development of NWs across the country in 2019-20.
“To promote inland water transport in the country as an economical, environment friendly supplementary mode of transport to rail and road, 111 inland waterways (including 5 National Waterways declared earlier) were declared as ‘National Waterways’ under the National Waterways Act, 2016,” says the release.
List of projects initiated on NWs by the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI):
1. 12 National Waterways
a. National Waterway (NW)-1 (Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hooghly river system from Allahabad to Haldia) in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand & West Bengal;
b. NW-2 (River Brahmaputra from Dhubri to Sadiya) in Assam;
c. NW-3 (West Coast Canal from Kottapuram to Kollam along with Udyogmandal and Champakara Canals) in Kerala, have already been developed with fairway navigational aids, jetties and terminals with mechanized equipment handling facilities for loading and unloading of cargo. These NWs are operational and vessels are plying on them.
d. In addition, NW-10 (river Amba), NW-68 (river Mandovi), NW-73 (river Narmada), NW-83 (Rajpuri Creek), NW-85 (Revadanda Creek – Kundalika River System), NW-91 (Shastri river–Jaigad creek system), NW- 97 (Sunderbans Waterways), NW-100 (river Tapi) and NW-111 (river Zuari) are also operational.
At present, a cargo volume of 72.31 million tonnes per annum is being transported on the above operational NWs.
2. Jal Marg Vikas Project
Government has taken up implementation of the Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP) at an estimated cost of Rs 5369.18 crore for capacity augmentation of navigation on National Waterway-1 (NW-1) on the Haldia – Varanasi stretch of Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hooghly River System with the technical and financial assistance of the World Bank. The features of the project are development of infrastructure like construction of multimodal terminals at Varanasi, Sahibganj & Haldia, Ro-Ro terminals, navigational lock at Farakka, channel marking systems, integrated vessel repair & maintenance facilities, automated information techniques of Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS) and River Information System (RIS), day and night navigation aids, slipways, bunkering facilities, river training and river conservancy works. Projects worth Rs 1800 crore (approx.) have commenced on the ground in a time period of three years after statutory clearances.
3. Vijayawada – Muktyala
Fairway development works in Vijayawada – Muktyala stretch of river Krishna in Andhra Pradesh (Part of NW-4) under Phase-I has been completed. Fabrication of four floating pontoons and land acquisition for fixed terminals (4 nos.) at Ibrahimpatnam, Harischandrapuram, Muktyala and Madipadu have been taken up.
4. New 106 National Waterways
Feasibility studies have been completed for 106 new NWs and based on the outcome of feasibility studies and Detailed Project Reports (DPRs), 20 new NWs have been found technically feasible for the development of shipping and navigation in addition to 5 existing NWs by the IWAI.