Inland Water Transport (IWT) mode, is recognized as a cost effective, fuel efficient, environment friendly and safe mode of transport especially for hazardous goods and over dimensional cargo.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) and M/s Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. for transportation of cars on a pilot basis through inland waterways. Cars are proposed to be transported from Varanasi to Kolkata on National Waterway-1 as a pilot run which is scheduled to commence in August, 2016. The requirement of logistic support for rolling in/ out of cars from the vessels to shore and vice-versa has been done in a trial run at Kolkata.
As per a RITES report of 2014 on “Integrated National Waterways Transportation Grid (INWTG)” the important benefits of IWT mode compared to rail and road transportation are as one litre of fuel moves, 24 tonne-km on road, 95 tonne-km on rail and 215 tonne-km on IWT. Also, the cost of developing waterways is much lower than rail and road.