New Delhi: The Minister of State for Shipping (I/C) and Chemical & Fertilizers Mansukh Mandaviya, in written replies to questions in Lok Sabha Thursday, gave detailed information on the status of development of Inland Waterways in the country, and the growth of cargo transportation on the waterways. The minister said that Cargo Transport on National Waterways Rose from 6.59 Mt in 2014-15 to 72.31 in 2018-19. The substantial rise in traffic came after the new National Waterways were declared under the National Waterways Act, 2016.
Mandaviya informed that 13 NWs are operational with vessels plying on them. These include National Waterway-NW-1 (Ganga – Bhagirathi – Hooghly river system from Allahabad to Haldia), NW-2 (River Brahmaputra from Dhubri to Sadiya) and NW -3 (West Coast Canal from Kottapuram to Kollam along with Udyogmandal and Champakara Canals) have already been developed with fairway, navigational aids, jetties and terminals with mechanized equipment handling facilities for loading and unloading of cargo. These waterways including NW-10 (river Amba), NW-27 (Cumberjua), 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)
NW-1 being done at Rs 5369.18 Cr
The Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP) for capacity augmentation of navigation on the Haldia -Varanasi stretch of National Waterway-1 (Ganga) is being implemented at an estimated cost of Rs. 5369.18 crore with the technical and financial assistance of the World Bank. Projects worth Rs. 1800 crore (approx.) have commenced on the ground in a time period of three years after statutory clearances. In NW-4 on the Vijayawada – Muktyala stretch of river Krishna, fairway development works and construction of terminals are in progress at a cost of Rs. 96 crore.
Cruising on new waterways
The Minister further informed that techno-economic feasibility is being done for the new National Waterways, and Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) also being prepared. also informed that the Ministry of Shipping had issued directions dated 18.04.2018 to five Major Ports to take up development of the National Waterways which are in their proximity, through the release of grants by Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI). A sum of Rs. 750.36 crore has been provided as Gross Budgetary Support for the Inland Waterways Authority of India for the financial year 2019-20, to undertake various activities, including the development of National Waterways (NWs) through Major Ports.