Under the National Waterways Act, 2016, 111 inland waterways have been declared as National Waterways (NWs)in addition to the five existing NWs, across 24 States for utilising them as an environment friendly and sustainable mode of transport.
Out of these 111 NWs, the following waterways are operational:
(i) NW-1: Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hooghly river system (Allahabad-Haldia).
(ii) NW-2: River Brahmaputra.
(iii) NW-3: West Coast Canal (Kottapuram-Kollam) along with Udyogmandal and ChampakaraCanals.
(iv) NW -68: Mandovi.
(v) NW-97: Sundarbans waterways.
(vi) NW -111: Zuari
The Jal Marg Vikas Project has been commissioned for capacity augmentation of NW–1 (river Ganga) from Haldia to Varanasi with an objective to facilitate movement of 1,500 – 2,000tonne vessels. The project has been undertaken with the technical and financial support of the World Bank at an estimated cost of Rs. 4,200 crore. The project is scheduled to be completed in six years. Under this project, various sub projects include, fairway development and construction of multimodal terminals at Varanasi, Sahibganj and Haldia and a new navigation lock at Farakka. On NW-2 (river Brahmaputra) a Ro-Ro service has started and a ship repair facility is being constructed at Pandu (Guwahati).
Commencement of development of six more waterways is planned in this financial year. These waterways are NW-4 (Kakinada Puducherry Canal alongwith Krishna & Godavari Rivers), NW- 5 (East Coast Canal with Brahmani& Mahanadi Delta), NW-16 (Barak), NW-37 (Gandak), NW-40 (GhagraRiver) and NW-58 (Kosi).The development of NW-4 & 5 has already been initiated and status is as below:
National Waterway – 4
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been entered into between Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) and Government of Andhra Pradesh to develop the Kakinada- Puducherry canal system along with Krishna and Godavari rivers in Andhra Pradesh through Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to be formed by the Government of Andhra Pradesh and IWAI. Feasibility studies, including delineation of land, have also been undertaken. The fairway stretch between Vijayawada and Muktiyala (87 Km) is being developed through dredging for which tenders have been floated by IWAI. This will help to move the cement required for construction of the new capital of Andhra Pradesh at Amravati.
National Waterway– 5
NW-5, with a total length of 588km, consists of river & canal portion i.e East Coast Canal. The development of river stretch of 333 km consisting of Brahmani, Kharsuanand Delta River Systems of Mahanadi &Brahmani has been taken up initially in two phases. The stretch (between Pankopal to DhamraandParadip port) of 203 km is being developed under the 1st phase. Fairway development which include dredging and setting up of terminal facilities at Pankopal,ParadipandDhamra are under progress.