Union Minister & Minister of Water Resources and Ganga Rejuvenation, Nitin Gadkari has informed that The National Waterway 1 on river Ganga is expected to see 21.89 million tonnes (MT) of cargo traffic in the next two to three years. “This will be on the back of government measures to promote inland water transport in the country,” he said. Besides, 13 standardised state-of-the-art ship designs have been drawn as part of efforts to boost river transport and remove any ambiguity on vessel sizes that can sail on Ganga, he added.
“We have taken a slew of steps to promote inland water transport, which has been neglected so far. A study has projected traffic at 21.89 MT on National Waterway 1 (NW-1) by 2021,” Gadkari said. The cargo traffic on NW-1 was 5.5 MT in 2017-18. Currently, various projects underway on NW 1 have the terminal capacity of 13.62 MT and these include Varanasi, Haldia and Sahebganj multi-modal hubs, the minister further said. With the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) coming up with 13 vessel designs, this move would serve as an enabler for domestic shipbuilding industry working on inland vessels and open huge possibilities for cargo and passenger movement on NW-1.