Waterways agency clears 25 routes for freight and passenger traffic

NEW DELHI : In a major boost to the development of the waterway system in the country, the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) found 25 of the 111 national waterways suitable for the movement of freight or passengers.

The identification is the result of techno-economic feasibility and detailed project reports on national waterways carried out by IWAI as part of an exercise to identify and develop sections of waterways that could be transformed. into complete economic corridors facilitating the movement of goods and passengers.

The Ministry of Ports, Navigation and Waterways, in its attempt to promote river transport in the country, declared 111 waterways (5 existing and 106 new) as national waterways (NW) under the Law on the 2016 national waterways.

In a written response to a question posed to Rajya Sabha on Tuesday, the ministry detailed the plans the government has made for better and efficient river transport in the country. Of the 25 NW, development work is already underway in 13 of them.

The ministry has also introduced other initiatives for the growth of traffic on national waterways, including the revision of charges and the collection of charges, improvement of regional trade using the IWT model, the use of procedures Operational Standards (SPO) to facilitate the use of inland waterway transport for stakeholders and to access information related to NWs and the Ro-Ro / Ro-Pax service for national waterways which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in February 2021.

Inland waterway development projects are continuous and effective. Freight movement on the NW showed a 13% increase in 2020-2021 compared to 2019-20.

The ministry also suggested digital solutions to facilitate business, such as the CAR-D (Cargo Data) portal. It is a web portal for the collection and compilation, analysis and dissemination of all data on freight and cruise movements from NW to stakeholders.

PANI or Portal for Information on Assets and Navigation is an integrated solution that compiles information on inland waterway navigation and infrastructures on a single platform.

The portal provides detailed information on the characteristics of national waterways and assets such as aisles, infrastructure, cross-border structures and emergency services to facilitate the transport of goods.

These solutions help increase the collaboration of divergent stakeholders, improve organizational consistency, increase resource agility, and strengthen individual stakeholder accountability, which in turn improves business management.

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