Indian Economy News

Government to convert 101 rivers into waterways to propel economic growth

  • IBEF
  • January 19, 2015

Mumbai: The Government of India has set an ambitious target to convert 101 rivers across the nation into waterways in order to promoting water transport to propel economic growth, said Mr Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping, Government of India.

A slew of measures are underway to promote the sector as India is yet to tap the potential of waterways. So far, the government has declared only five river stretches as waterways. The government has also decided to launch PM Jal Marg Yojna and projects for setting up dry and satellite ports, besides converting river ways into waterways.

Five of the river-stretches, which have been declared as National Waterways, include Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hooghly river system (Allahabad-Haldia-1,620km); Brahmaputra (Dhubri-Sadiya-891km); West Coast Canal (Kottapuram-Kollam) along with Udyogmandal and Champakara Canals-(205km); Kakinada-Puducherry canals along with Godavari and Krishna rivers (1,078km) and East Coast Canal integrated with Brahmani river and Mahanadi delta rivers (588km).

The Ministry is committed to reduce the traffic burden from roads and promote water transportation where transportation cost is barely 50 paise (US$ 0.008) a km in comparison to Rs 1 (US$ 0.016) per km by railways and Rs 1.5 (US$ 0.024) per km through roads.

The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) signed a pact with the Government of Odisha, Paradip Port and Dhamra Port to develop commercially viable stretches of National Waterway 5. In the National Waterway 5, East Coast Canal has been integrated with Brahmini river and Mahanadi delta rivers (588 km). Also a project to develop National Waterways 4, Sholinganallur-Kallapakkam stretch of South Buckingham Canal has been sanctioned. The National Waterways 1, 2 and 3 have been made operational.

Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.