A senior CPI member and Lok Sabha MP has asked the government to urgently start work on the Haldia-Paradip waterway and earmark funds for the project.

Observing that the internal waterway connected through the Geonkhali-Hijli coastal canal has been declared a national waterway, MP Prabodh Panda said despite the announcement, no work has been started on the project till date.

“Even the map of the proposed waterway has not been published and the people and local administration are quite in the dark on the matter”, he said here and demanded that the Centre urgently allocate the necessary finances “within this financial year to start the project expeditiously“.

The route of the waterway would pass through Talcher-Dhamra, stretch of river Brahmani, Geonkhali-Charbelia and a stretch of the Mahanadi delta.

Mr. Panda said Nobel Laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore used to visit his estate in Paradip using this route.

Once steps were taken to start this waterway, “the cost of transportation of goods from Haldia port to Orissa and vice-versa will be minimised and economic activities in the adjoining areas will get a boost,” the CPI leader, who has already raised the matter in the Lok Sabha, said.