The Union Minister of Shipping, Road Transport & Highways, Water resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Shri Nitin Gadkari will be in Prayagraj tomorrow to inaugurate Phase 2 of the River Information System on National Waterway-1 (River Ganga) between Farakka and Patna (410 km) and also unveil new arrangement of Navigation Lock at Farakka that would enable breeding of Hilsa fish in River Ganga and help preserve the river ecosystem.
River Information System RIS (Farakka -Patna)
The inauguration of 2nd phase of RIS on National Waterway-1 on the 410 km Farakka-Patna stretch, will enhance swift electronic data transfer between mobile vessels and base stations on shore through advance and real-time exchange of information.
It is a form of vessel traffic management using next generation technology. It will help in crises management and enhanced inland navigation safety by preventing ship-to-ship collisions, ship - bridge collisions, groundings etc.
The service will immensely help in optimization of navigation and minimize collision risks in the waterway thus benefitting the users greatly. The services are being used in advanced waterways of Europe, China and U.S.A. The operationalization of this system in India is a landmark in itself.
Under phase II, five base stations – Manihari, Bhagalpur, Munger, Barh and Hatidah and one control station have been made at Patna.
IWAI is implementing the project in three phases on NW-1 at a cost of about Rs 57 Cr. Earlier, in 2016, the first phase of RIS - 545 km on Haldia- Farakka stretch was commissioned. Work on third, 356 kms Patna-Varanasi stretch is currently in progress.
RIS aims to streamline the exchange of information between waterway operators and users.
RIS Services are a combination of sensors like Automated Identification system, Meteorological and Hydrological equipment and software related services designed to optimize traffic and transport processes in inland navigation. RIS works on the lines of Air Traffic Controls.
Hilsa Passage through Farakka Navigation Lock
In consonance with IWAI’s commitment towards an environment friendly, sustainable, safe and cost-effective model of development, the operations at the Navigation Lock in Farakka will be synchronised to suit the requirements of Hilsa fish movement. Under Jal Marg Vikas Pariyojana, a fish pass has been envisaged for the free movement of Hilsa at Farakka Navigation Lock.
After the construction of Farakka Navigation Lock in 1976, movement of Hilsa, which once reached up to Prayagraj also, was restricted up to Farakka only.
IWAI, under JMVP has made a special arrangement to allow passage of the Hilsa fish - which has a significant cultural importance in West Bengal, besides being the national fish of Bangladesh. This has been done in consultation with ICAR- Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute, Central Water Commission and Farraka Barrage Project Authority.
Based on research and breeding season of Hilsa Fish, the operation of navigational lock will be regulated to facilitate Hilsa movement from Hoogly-Bhagirathi-River system to the upstream in river Ganga and vice-versa. The time of opening the gates at the Lock will be based on the nature and time of movement of Hilsa fish, period of migration and breeding of species etc.
Fish pass/Fish way is a structure on or around artificial and natural barriers (such as dams, locks and waterfalls) to facilitate natural fish migration. Most fishways enable fish to pass around the barriers by swimming into the waters on the other side.
Under the Jal Marg Vikas Project a new state of the art navigational Lock on NW-1 is being constructed at Farakka at a cost of Rs 361.35 Cr and work will be complete by June 2019.
Fish often disperse widely over large areas while feeding and spawning. This Hilsa migration will lead to increase in its production in the region. Simultaneously, this will increase the river biodiversity and boost the economy of local fishermen.
IWAI is implementing the Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP) for capacity augmentation of navigation on National Waterway-1 on the Haldia – Varanasi stretch of Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hooghly River System with the technical and financial support of the World Bank at a cost of Rs 5369 Crore.
Shri Gadkari will also visit an exhibition set up by National Mission for Clean Ganga at at Kumbh tomorrow.