MV V. V. Giri, a vessel of the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) began a landmark pilot movement on April 23rd 2017 from Kolaghat in East Midnapore district of West Bengal to Bhagalpur in Bihar with a cement consignment of 240 tonnes. The vessel’s journey commenced from Kolaghat on Rupnarayan river (National Waterway- 86) to reach Bhagalpur via river Ganga (NW-1). This marks the beginning of an integrated cargo movement involving two different NWs – NW-86 and NW-1. Rupnarayan river (NW-86) connects with river Ganga (NW-1) at Geokhali near Haldia. On its return trip, the vessel will bring fly ash/pet coke.
A private cement company has committed a consignment of 1.20 lakh tonnes of cement per annum from its plant at Salboni in East Midnapore district in West Bengal to various destinations on river Ganga (NW-1) in the states of Jharkhand and Bihar.
Earlier this year, an IWAI vessel MV Zakir Hussain had transported 350 tonnes of cement consignment from Haldia to Patna. The Government of India plans to make cargo movement on NW-1 (Ganga river) a regular feature.
Many prominent cement companies have also shown interest in transporting their cargo through river NW-1 which the IWAI is developing under the Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP), with technical and financial assistance of the World Bank at an estimated cost of Rs. 5369 crore. The project would enable commercial navigation of vessels with capacity of 1500-2,000 tonnes.