A total of 111 waterways have been declared as National Waterways under the National Waterways Act, 2016.
Some of the major initiatives to develop the National Waterways recently are as under:
i) To strengthen navigation capacity and promote transportation of cargo and passengers on National Waterway-1, on the Haldia-Varanasi stretch of Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hooghly River System, the Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP) has been taken up for development with technical and investment support of the World Bank at an estimated cost of Rs.5369 crore.
ii) A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed by India and Bangladesh for dredging in the Sirajganj - Daikhowa and Ashuganj-Zakiganj stretches on the Indo-Bangladesh Protocol route in Bangladesh by sharing the cost of dredging between India and Bangladesh in the ratio 80:20. The implementation of the MoU would facilitate critical connectivity between National Waterway-1 (River Ganga) and National Waterway-2 (River Brahmaputra).
iii) On NW-2 (River Brahmaputra), Roll on – Roll off (Ro-Ro) services have commenced between Dhubri and Hatsingimari, reducing the circuitous road route of about 220 km via Jogighopa to reach Hatsingimari.
iv) Construction of Slipway at Pandu in Assam is on, with December, 2018 as the target date of completion. This will be the first dry dock repair facility in the NE Region. Presently, the vessels plying on NW-2 need to sail to Kolkata for dry dock repairs and maintenance.
v) On NW-4, Phase-I development of the stretch between Muktyala to Vijayawada (82 kms) has commenced. This will provide an efficient logistics solution to boost the economic growth of the region and facilitate the development of Amravati, the new capital city of Andhra Pradesh as substantial construction material is expected to be transported on this stretch of NW-4.
This information was given by Minister of State for Shipping and Road Transport and Highways Shri Pon. Radhakrishnan in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha today.