NEW DELHI: The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has accorded its approval to a proposal jointly mooted by the Ministry of Shipping and the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH) for amendment of Central Road Fund Act, 2000 to allocate 2.5 per cent of the proceeds of Central Road Fund (CRF) for development and maintenance of National Waterways (NWs) and a reduction in the share provided for development of National Highways. The Cabinet has also directed that while implementing viable National Waterways projects, all such components that can be done on PPP basis, should be explored accordingly and Government funding may be used only if private investment is not forthcoming for any component
The Central Road Fund (Amendment) Bill, 2017 would be moved by the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways in the ensuing Monsoon Session, 2017 of the Parliament.
An allocation of 2.5 per cent of CRF proceeds would provide approximately Rs.2000 crore per annum for the development and maintenance of NWs at existing rates of duties funding the CRF. The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) has estimated that approximately Rs. 25,000 crores would be required for development of identified projects on NWs till 2022-23. In this regard, works for construction of Multi Modal terminals, new navigation lock, River Information System, development of fairway etc., have already commenced under the Jal Marg Vikas Project being implemented on NW-1 (River Ganga). IWAI also has planned to undertake work on the development of 24 NWs during the next three years.