Waterways authority awards ₹1,353 cr. tenders

Projects worth ₹1,353 crore have been awarded under the Jal Marg Vikas project. Termed as sub-projects, these touch three States, and are scheduled to be ready between May 2018 and December 2019. They include construction of multi-modal terminals and a navigational lock at Farakka.

Implemented by the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), the Jal Marg Vikas (National Waterway-I: River Ganga) Project envisages developing a 1,380-km long fairway between Varanasi in U.P. and Haldia in West Bengal at an estimated cost of ₹5,369 crore. Scheduled for completion by 2022-23, NW-1 would enable commercial navigation of large vessels.

Funds raised

Major activities covered are construction of multi-modal terminals, jetties, river information system, channel marking, navigational lock, river training and conservancy works. The Public Investment Board (PIB) has appraised the project. The CCEA note on JMVP implementation has been approved by the Union Finance Minister, subject to obtaining re-confirmation from Ministry of Environment and Forests and Climate Change. Environmental Clearance is not required for maintenance dredging in rivers for navigation, according to official sources. In the meantime, work has commenced on priority sub-projects.

Sources said that IWAI raised ₹1,000 crore as bonds this year is being used by the authority for capital expenditure during 2017-18. Funds would also flow through the allocation of 2.5% of Central Road Fund for development and maintenance of NWs.

About ₹25,000 crore would be required for identified projects till 2022-23.

Sources added that projects under execution include the multi-modal terminal at Varanasi, and the first phase of a similar terminal at Sahibgunj, Jharkhand.

Work is also apace at Haldia, where 61 acres were taken on 30-year lease for a terminal whose project cost is estimated at ₹517 crore.

Construction of new navigational lock at West Bengal’s Farakka is scheduled to be completed in April 2019.

Sources said that the IWAI is focussing on cargo movement on the National Waterways so that by the time the terminals and other infrastructure are established they are utilized effectively.

A pilot run of defence cargo (eight Army trucks and 20 personnel) was moved in April 2017, on NW-2 (River Brahmaputra) in Assam.

IWAI’s cargo vessel moved bagged cement from Lolaghat, West Bengal (Rupnarayan river) to Bhagalpur (on Ganga).Transportation of cement took place rom Gaighat (Patna) to Bhagalpur and 73,400 ton km stone chips from Sahibganj (Jharkhand) to Manihari (Bihar) on NW-1 was completed during April, 2017.

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Printable version | Oct 18, 2021 10:36:30 PM |

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