The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) has set out on a massive public outreach initiative along river Ganga on National Waterway-1 to help push rural economy to connect with waterways. As part of a month long dialogue series extending from Varanasi to Haldia , a team of IWAI on 17 -18 July, 2018 held two day long outreach with villagers- farmers and traders, from Zamania, Kataria, Puraina, Sarai Mohammadpur, Chochakpur, Jallapur, Dungerpur in Ghazipur district.
The officials disseminated information on the Rs 5369 crore Jal Marg Vikas Project on river Ganga. Residents who participated in hundreds of numbers shared their enthusiasm and expectations from the project.The community outreach was attended by people from diverse backgrounds – NGOs, Panchayat Pradhans, farmers, and other local community members.
This Eastern Uttar Pradesh pocket along the Ganga has rich agricultural produce that include green chillies, tomato, brinjal, onions, cauliflowers, banana, papaya, etc in huge quantity but due to the non-existence of a good supply chain, and owing to lack of connectivity and storage infrastructure, the produce reaches local mandis and other cities’ markets with difficulty and goods often perish. IWAI is making a Rs 155 Crore Inter Modal Terminal at Ghazipurunder the Jal Marg Vikas project, which will provide direct and seamless access to this area’s markets to Bay of Bengal through National Waterway-1.
The Rs 5369 Crore JMVP is going to create more than 1.5 Lakh direct and indirect employment in the four states it traverses and the dialogue process has been initiated to bring the beneficiaries to the fold of inclusive development. In Uttar Pradesh alone, 50,000 employments will be created, according to a Wold Bank Economic analysis on Jal Marg Vikas Project.
Even as the JMVP will facilitate seamless movement of large freight from Varanasi to Haldia, IWAI has also assessed the need to make smaller interventions for the benefit of local communities and farmers along the bank of Ganga. Ferry sevices, small jetties and vessels are being worked out to facilitate the movement of smaller cargo like agricultural produces, vegetables, dairy products, and others.
IWAI is working with State Livelihood Missions for imparting necessary skill training for the youth, boatmen and other community members so that they could benefit from the employment opportunities.