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Indian Economy

Ministry of Shipping

Use of Waterways for Reducing Cost of Transportation

Posted On: 16 MAR 2020 3:35PM by PIB Delhi

Significant savings in cost of transportation are expected by using Inland Water Transport (IWT) mode of transport. As per RITES Report of 2014 on “Integrated National Waterways Transportation Grid”, the cost comparison on the modes of surface transport is given below:





Freight (Rs./T.km)




National Waterway-1 (river Ganga), NW-2 (river Brahmputra) and NW-3 (West Coast Canal from Kottapuram to Kollam along with Udyogmandal and Champakara Canals) are operational and vessels are plying on them.  In addition, NW-10 (river Amba) in Maharashtra, NW-68 (river Mandovi) in Goa, NW-73 (river Narmada) in Gujarat, NW-83 (Rajpuri Creek) in Maharashtra, NW-85 (Revadanda Creek - Kundalika River System) in Maharashra, NW-91 (Shastri river-Jaigad creek system) in Maharashtra, NW-97 (Sunderbans Waterways) in West Bengal, NW-100 (river Tapi) in Gujarat & Maharashtra and NW-111 (river Zuari) in Goa are also operational.


  IWAI is implementing the Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP) at an estimated cost of Rs.5369.18 crore for capacity augmentation of navigation on the Haldia-Varanasi stretch of Ganga with technical and financial assistance of the World Bank.  Under JMVP projects worth Rs.1800 crore (approx.) have commenced on ground in a time period of three years after statutory clearances. These include Multimodal Terminals at Varanasi and Sahibganj and three contracts for dredging.

       Fairway development works in Vijayawada-Muktyala stretch of river Krishna in Andhra Pradesh (Part of NW-4) have been completed.  Fabrication of four floating pontoons and land acquisition for fixed terminals (4 nos.) at Ibrahimpatnam, Harischandrapuram, Muktyala and Madipadu has been taken up.

Details of shipping and navigation activities initiated on 8 viable new NWs, State-wise,are at Annex.


Details of 8 new National Waterways on which development activities have been initiated.


Name of the Waterway and States



1.River Barak (NW-16) in Assam

Development at a cost of Rs.76.01 crore for Phase-1 of NW-16 from Silchar to Bhanga has commenced. This includes maintenance dredging, upgradation of terminals at Badarpur and Karimganj. Waterway is operational with limited infrastructure facility.  


2. River Gandak (NW-37) in Bihar

Initial development process has been completed as per requirement. Further development process will be synchronized with cargo demand.

Waterways in Goa

3.  NW-27-Cumberjua

4.  NW-68 – Mandovi

5.  NW-111 – Zuari

A Tripartite MoU has been signed with Government of Goa and Mormugao Port Trust for development of NWs in Goa.  Development of NWs in Goa at an estimated cost of Rs.22.65 crore has commenced.  NWs of Goa are operational.


Installation of 3 nos. floating Jetties amounting to Rs.11.33 crore on river Mandovi and one no. on river Chapora on EPC basis has been taken up.


6. Alappuzha – Kottayam – Athirampuzha Canal (NW-9) in Kerala

Waterway is already operational for ferry services. Maintenance scheme for development at a cost of Rs.0.82 crore was approved in May, 2019 for execution during 2019-20. Night navigation facilities have been installed.


7.  River Rupnarayan (NW-86) in West Bengal

Development of the waterway at an estimated cost of Rs. 24.00 crore has commenced. Work has been awarded for setting up of floating terminal.   Waterway is operational.


8. Sunderbans Waterways (NW-97) in West Bengal

Development of waterway at an estimated cost of Rs.18.10 crore has commenced.  Upgradation of infrastructure at Hemnagar has been taken up to handle Cargo/ Passenger or Customs/ Immigration requirements. Waterway is part of Indo-Bangladesh Protocol route and already operational for vessels.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Shipping(I/C)Shri Mansukh Mandaviya in the Rajya Sabha today in a written reply.  




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