Rs 35,000 crore investment for network expansion of Inland Water Transport (IWT)

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Rs 35,000 crore investment for network expansion of Inland Water Transport (IWT)

Recently, the chairman of the ‘Inland Waterways Authority of India’ (IWAI) has said that India will invest Rs 35,000 crore for the expansion of waterways network by 2047.

  • The chairman of the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) has said that the plan will involve developing waterways and jetties to improve the navigability of Indian rivers.
  • India has an extensive network of inland waterways in the form of rivers, canals, backwaters and creeks.
  • This network can complement overburdened railways and congested roadways.
  • To promote Inland Water Transport (IWT), 111 waterways have been declared as National Waterways (NWs) under the National Waterways Act, 2016, out of which 13 NWs are operational.

Benefits of IWT:

  • It is an environment-friendly and cheap (low fuel consumption per tonne-km) mode of transport.
  • Provides better connectivity to hinterland,
  • Relatively less maintenance is required etc.

Challenges before Inland Water Transport:

  • Due to industrial, agricultural and other uses
  • Reduction in water runoff affects the movement of ships;
  • The lack of depth of water channels affects the operation;
  • Excessive sediment accumulation is also a major challenge;
  • There has been less progress at the technological level etc.

Other initiatives-

  • The Portal for Asset and Navigation Information (PANI) provides detailed information on individual waterways.
  • A web portal named CAR-D (Cargo Data) has been launched for data related to all cargo and cruise movement of national waterways.

Inland Waterways Authority of India –

  • It was established in October 1986 for the development and regulation of inland waterways and to make water and shipping accessible. The headquarter of the authority is located in Noida.
  • This authority mainly operates projects for the development and maintenance of transport infrastructure on national waterways through grants received from the Ministry of Shipping.

Source – Economics Times

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