NEW DELHI: In a major push to India’s inland waterways transportation sector, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will receive a large container vessel travelled for the first time on inland waterways NW-1 Ganga at the newly developed Multi-modal Terminal in Varanasi on November 12. The Prime Minister will also dedicate the port to the nation on the occasion.
India now has about 14,500 km of navigable waterways which comprise of rivers, canals, backwaters, and creeks.
The new vessels that will be ferrying cargo on the routes are capable of operating in shallow water with a depth of 2-3 meters. This will make waterways a viable alternative to road and rail transport.
"These vessels will need only 2-3 metres of depth and 45-metre wide water channel. One such vessel with 2000 tonnes capacity will remove nearly 140 truckloads of pressure from the road. Once developed, inland waterways will significantly decongest the highways across the Country," an official claimed.
Keeping in view the difficult characteristics of River Ganga in the upper reaches between Patna and Varanasi, it is important to have vessels that can ply on low depth, with high carrying capacity, and are economically viable and environmentally friendly," officials said.