(GIST OF YOJANA) National Waterways: Integrated Transport Network [FEBRUARY-2019]

(GIST OF YOJANA) National Waterways: Integrated Transport Network


National Waterways: Integrated Transport Network

Mains Paper 3: Economy
Prelims level: National Waterways
Mains level: Infrastructure, roads, ports, railways


  •  The Government of India is aggressively pushing for the development of inland waterway routes as part of an integrated transport network strategy.
  •  106 new national waterways were announced under the National Waterways Act, 2016.
  • With the five existing National Waterways (NW), the addition of the new ones lakes the total number to 111 in the country. Out of the newly announced waterways, development work is in full swing on eight of them.
  •  The Union Finance Minister, in his Budget Speech for 2014-1 5, delivered on July 10, 2014, had announced Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP) on National Waterway- 1 (NW- 1 ) to enable commercial navigation on Varanasi Haldia stretch of river Ganga.
  •  Jal Marg Vikas Project (National Waterway-1, River Ganga) On NW-I, Jal Marg Vikas Project(JMVP) is being implemented for capacity augmentation on Haldia-Varanasi stretch for a distance of 1 ,390 km, with technical and financial assistance from the World Bank.
  •  NW-I, along with the proposed Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor and NH-2, constitute the Eastern Transport Corridor of India connecting the National Capital Region (NCR) win, the eastern and North-eastern states and will function as a link to Bangladesh
  • Myanmar, Thailand, Nepal and other cast and Southeast Asian countries through the Kolkata Port and Indo-Bangladesh Protocol Route.

Vessel Design

  •  In August, 2018, IWAI made public 13 standardised state-of-the-art ship designs suitable for large barge haulage on river Ganga (National Waterway-1).
  •  This marked attaining of a critical milestone in the growth of the country’s Inland Water Transport (IWT) sector as it will help overcome the unique navigation challenges river Ganga throws up due to its complex river morphology, hydraulics, acute bends, shifting channels, meanders and currents.
  •  It will serve as an enabler for the domestic shipbuilding industry working on inland vessels and open huge possibilities for cargo and passenger movement on National Waterway- 1.
  •  The specially designed vessels will navigate on low drafts with high carrying capacity which are at the same time, environment friendly.
  •  These vessels will sail even in depths of about two metres carrying about 350 cars on a five deck car carrier.
  •  Some of the designs would enable movement of bulk cargo carriers with capacity of 2500 tonnes at three metres depth, thereby removing almost 150 truckloads of pressure from the road or one foil rail rake with the plying of just one such vessel.
  •  The new designs for various categories of dry and liquid bulk earner, Ro-Ro vessels, car carrier, container carrier, LNG carrier, Tug Barge flotilla (Table 1) have been made by M/s DST, Germany which specialises in low draft and high carrying capacity vessels.
  •  The model testing of these designs were done at Duisburg, Germany.
  •  The new designs will obviate the dependence of Indian shipbuilders on foreign ship designs for IWT and prove to be a boost to the ‘Make in India’ initiative of the Government.

IWAI at Social Congregations:

 Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) has been working hard towards facilitating safe passenger movements at Kumbh-Mela, 2019.

Benefits of Inland Water Transport:

  •  IWT provides supplementary mode of transport which is cost effective, fuel efficient and environment friendly.
  •  Low emissions – CO2 equivalent greenhouse gases emission per tonne km of cargo transportation is 15g by IWT, 28g by Rail and 64g by Road transport.
  •  Low energy consumption - 1 HP can carry 4000 kg load in Water, 500 kg by Rail and 150 kg on Road.
  •  Low fuel cost - 1 litre fuel can move 105 tonne-km by IWT, 85 tonne-km by Rail and 24 tonne-km of freight by Road.
  •  IWT can provide optimal modal mix by integrating river transport with other modes thereby reducing total logistics cost.
  •  It eases congestion on Road and Rail networks.
  •  IWT requires very little land acquisition as compared to Road and Rail modes.
  •  Caters to the needs of the relatively underdeveloped hinterland.

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Business Opportunities

  •  The development works being undertaken by IWAI provide business opportunities to players involved in waterways in the fields of:
  •  Cargo Movement
  •  Dredging Works
  •  Construction, Operation and

Maintenance of Terminals

  •  Barge Construction and Operations
  •  Navigation Aid
  •  Hydrographic Surveys
  •  Manpower Supply for Vessels and Terminals. Training of Vessel Crews
  •  Stevedoring and Forwarding
  •  Cruise Operations
  •  Consultancy Services for Techno-Economic Feasibility, Environmental and Social Impact and Market Analysis Studies, Preparation of DPRs.
  •  Project Management Consultancy
  •  Construction Supervision
  •  Proof Checking of Design
  •  Model Studies

National Waterway-2

  •  River Brahmaputra from Bangladesh Border to Sadiya (891 km) was  declared as National Waterway -2 in 1988.
  •  The waterway is being developed and operationalized with fairway, navigational aids, terminals with mechanized handling facilities for cargo vessels.

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