KOLKATA: A Tug Barge Flotilla of Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) with the capacity of carrying fly ash to Bangladesh was flagged off by the Secretary of Union Ministry of Shipping, Shri Gopal Krishna.
The newly built tug barge flotilla was launched at Jetty-2 of Garden Reach, Kolkata. Present on the occasion were Shri Vinit Kumar, Chairman, Kolkata Port Trust(KoPT) and Vice Chairman, IWAI Shri Pravir Pandey and senior officials of KoPT, State Government, Central Government, PSUs, shipping importers and exporters, ship builders and other stakeholders.
The tug barge flotilla comprised of Tug Trishul, Dumb Barge Kalpana Chawla and Dumb Barge APJ Abdul Kalam has been launched by IWAI under Union Ministry of Shipping at a cost of Rs 16 crore. The high powered tug with twin propeller and 14 tonne bollard pull and two dumb barges of 1000 tonne capacity each has been built at the yard of A C Roy & Co. for cargo movement in National Waterways 1 & 2.
The lengths of the barges are 59.4 metre and they are 11.5 metre in breadth with loaded draft of 2.5 metre.
The flotilla is supposed to carry a load of 100 trucks. Fagging off the flotilla, Shri Krishna said, this tug barge flotilla will carry fly ash from National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), Farakka to Bangladesh which will be used as a raw material by the cement industries there. He even spoke at length about the Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP) and especially on the riverine infrastructure in four States- Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal through which the National Waterways-1 (1620 km from Varanasi to Haldia on river Ganga) runs. He said, transport of passengers and goods through waterways is not only pollution-free, its cost-savings too. He even pointed out that JMVP is keen to make investments in the project to incorporate state-of-the-art terminals at ferry services. World Bank has extended Rs 5369.19 crores as a loan for this project, he added. The project will enable commercial navigation of vessels with capacity of 1500 to 2,000 tonnes.