Capacity Augmentation Along Inland Waterways
The Government proposes to augment capacity to develop an eco-friendly and economical mode of transportation along inland waterways and coastal shipping routes under the Sagarmala Programme. Sagarmala is the flagship programme of the Ministry of Shipping to promote port-led development in the country by harnessing India’s 7,500 km long coastline, 14,500 km of potentially navigable waterways. It aims to reduce the logistics costs by doubling the share of domestic waterways in the modal mix from current 6 percent.
The Coastal Berth Scheme being implemented since March 2015 to promote the development of infrastructure for the movement of passengers and cargo at major and non-major ports has been merged with the Sagarmala Programme and extended up to March 2020. Under the scheme, 26 projects costing Rs. 1,207 crore has been sanctioned for the total financial assistance of Rs. 462.60 crore and Rs. 275.30 crore has been released to Major Ports/State Maritime Boards/State Governments.
The Government has declared 111 ‘National Waterways’ (including 5 existing NWs) under the National Waterways Act, 2016. It is implementing the Jal Marg Vikas Project, JMVP for augmenting the navigation capacity of NW-1 from Haldia to Varanasi at a cost of Rs.5369 crore with the technical and financial support of the World Bank. Development of 8 new National Waterways has been taken up.
The traffic projections and forecast models in the feasibility studies and DPRs prepared for the development of viable National Waterways indicate an enhanced demand for low draft – high carrying capacity and tug-barge flotilla vessels. Inland Waterways Authority of India has engaged a reputed agency in the field of vessel design to make appropriate designs for (NW-1) with emphasis on low draft high carrying capacity and fuel-efficient vessels. This information was given by the Minister of State for Shipping Shri Pon. Radhakrishnan in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha.