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India is looking to use its rivers to transport goods via Inland Marine Vessels

India is all set to launch its first inland water vessel. Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) is ready with 13 standard designs for the vessels, which will be operated in the Ganga river between Varanasi, in Uttar Pradesh and Haldia, in West Bengal. The vessels will be used to transport goods.

The government is in the final stages of finalising the vessel. The vessels will be able to operate in shallow waters, without polluting them, since they run on cleaner fuels and the latest technologies.

A senior official stated that these vessels will be able to operate in shallow waters of 2-3 meters which will decrease the load on road and rail transport. “These vessels will be 45 meters wide and will be able to carry 2000 tonnes of goods which can be translated to 140 truckloads,” an official report stated. This will not only decongest the highways but also save fuel and reduce air pollution.

Water taxis are also being planned for the Yamuna, which currently doesn’t allow passenger boats to be used due to excess silt deposits. This will decongest the National Capital Region, which is the need of the hour after most of the experiments to do so have failed. Moreover, they can be manufactured in India as part of the make in India initiative.

The designs are being drafted by a German firm. They will be finalised by next month.

The project will involve the deployment of a fairway to enable commercial navigation of at least 1500 tonne capacity on the Ganga. The project covers the river between UP and West Bengal, covering Bihar and Jharkhand on the way.

The trial run of the two Cargo vessels from Varanasi on National Waterway-1 (NW-1) was flagged off by Nitin Gadkari in August 2016. The Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs, headed by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, had green lit the implementation of the Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP) for capacity augmentation on 1380 km Haldia-Varanasi stretch of NW-1 at a budget of Rs 53.73 billion with assistance from the World Bank. The project will be completed by the year 2023 and is expected to generate employment on a large scale.

The project will primarily result in infrastructural development in multimodal and intermodal terminals, Roll-On-Roll-Off (Ro-Ro) facilities, ferry services, navigational aids and goods transport services. This will directly impact the socio-economic development in major cities and firms around its operational area.
Source: Business Insider

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