India is yet to explore vast potential of 14,500 km of navigable waterways for commercial transportation. For passenger and domestic cargo movement, development of inland waterways can prove to be a boon. Inland Waterways Transport (IdWT) is likely to be more environment friendly transportation mode compared to road and rail. As of now IWT doesn´t have even a 1 per cent share in the total cargo movement in the country.
To promote IWT on a larger scale, the Government of India has announced several initiatives which includes plans to setup an ´Integrated National Waterways Transport Grid´ facilitating water transport. Also on the cards are the plans to establish a multimodal grid with road and, wherever possible, rail and port connectivity with river terminals on the existing National Waterways and Barak river.
The Government of India has grand plans to set up shipbuilding and ship-repairing facilities at Andaman & Nicobar, Guwahati and Kandla in the near term. It is likely that 300 Lighthouses and 1100 islands would be developed as tourist hubs. The Government hopes to get Parliament ratification for the Bill which is for the declaration of 101 waterways as National Waterways.
Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI); Ministry of Shipping, Government of India and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) have jointly organised ´National Conference on Inland Waterways : Issues, Options and Strategies´ on 2 June 2015 at New Delhi. Nitin Gadkari, Hon´ble Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping, Government of India in his inaugural address has said, ´Inland Waterways is economically most viable sector and, as such, it should be an integral part of infrastructure development in the country.´
Contacts: Ravi Kant Jain, Deputy Director, IWAI, Uttar Pradesh,
T: 0120- 2544036, 2521684, 2521704
F: 2544041, 2543973,
(Amitabh Verma, Chairman)