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Development of inland waterways in India
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Thursday, 25 Nov 2010
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Mr GK Vasan minister of shipping informed the Rajya Sabha that following five waterways have so far been declared as National Waterways in the country:

1. National Waterway-1
Allahabad-Haldia stretch of the Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hooghly River (1620 Km) declared as NW in 1986 in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal.

2. National Waterway-2
Sadiya-Dhubri stretch of the Brahmaputra river (891 Km) declared as NationalWaterway in 1988 in the state of Assam.

3. National Waterway-3
Kollam-Kottapuram stretch of West Coast Canal and Champakara and Udyogmandal canals (205 Km) declared as National Waterway in 1993 in the state of Kerala

4. National Waterway-4
Kakinada-Pudducherry stretch of canals and Kaluvelly tank, Bhadrachalam-Rajahmundry stretch of river Godavari and Wazirabad-Vijayawada stretch of river Krishna (1078 Km) declared as National Waterway in 2008 in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Union Territory of Puducherry.

5. National Waterway-5
Talcher-Dhamra stretch of Rivers, Geonkhali-Charbatia stretch of East Coast Canal, Charbatia-Dhamra stretch of Matai river and Mahanadi Delta Rivers (588 Km) declared as National Waterway in 2008 in the states of West Bengal and Orissa.

Out of these National Waterways development works are being carried out by Inland Waterways Authority of India on NW-1, 2 and 3 only. The developmental works include providing a navigational channel with targeted depth and width for most part of the year, aids for day and night navigation and terminals at selected locations for berthing and loading/unloading of vessels. Developmental works for NW-4 and 5 have not yet commenced. Steps have been initiated to examine the feasibility of developing commercially viable stretches of National Waterways 4 & 5 under the public private partnership mode.

A proposal for declaration of Lakhipur to Bhanga stretch of river Barak (121 km) in the State of Assam is under consideration of the Government.

As per the National Transport Policy Committee report, 1980, the total length of navigable inland waterways in the country is about 14,500 Km.

During the 11th Plan, development/ maintenance of Inland Water Transport infrastructure namely navigational channel, navigation aids and terminals have been undertaken in 2716 Km of National Waterways 1, 2 & 3.

Out of the total plan outlay of INR 615 crore for IWT sector during the current plan, total yearly budgets allocated for the first four years of 11th Plan are INR 563 crore which was reduced to INR 477.45 crore at RE stage. Up to 15-11-2010, the expenditure of INR 369.85 crore has been made.

Various projects for development and maintenance of IWT related infrastructure namely navigational channel, navigational aids and terminals have been undertaken/proposed to be undertaken on National Waterways 1, 2 & 3 during the current plan period. In NW-1 a low level RCC Jetty has been constructed at Patna and construction of high level Jetty is in progress. Construction of fixed terminals are underway at Kolkata and Varanasi. Besides floating terminals are available at 16 places. A fairway with 3m/2.5m/2m depth is being developed and maintained for NW-1 for a period of about 330 days in a year. 24 hours navigation aids provided in Tribeni - Varanasi reach (1187 km) in NW-1. DGPS Station is already commissioned at Bhagalpur and work is in progress at Katwa, Patna and Varanasi.

In NW-2 a low level RCC Jetty has been constructed at Pandu and construction of high level Jetty is in progress. Besides, floating terminals are available at 7 places. A fairway with 2.5 m/2 m depth is being developed and maintained for NW-2 for a period of about 330 days in a year. 24 hours navigation aids provided in Dhubri - Dibrugarh reach (768 km) in NW-2. DGPS Station is already commissioned at Jogighopa and work is in progress at Tezpur and Dibrugarh.

In NW-3 fixed RCC terminals constructed at 7 places and work is in progress at one more location. Besides, Ro-Ro terminals constructed at Bolghatty and Willingdon Island for connectivity with Vallarpadam International Container Transhipment Terminal. A fairway with 2 m depth is being developed and maintained in Kottapuram - Alappuzha stretch of NW-3 and capital dredging is underway in balance portion. 24 hour. navigation aids provided for the entire stretch of NW-3.

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