Sarbananda Sonowal unveils 5-yr action plan for new national waterways to boost economic growth

New Delhi, Jun 25 (IANS): Union Minister of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal on Tuesday unveiled a five-year action plan for developing new national waterways, emphasising river cruises through targeted campaigns and events to boost tourism.

In his interaction with officials at the Noida Head Office of the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), Sarbananda Sonowal emphasised the need to develop national waterways across the country and to significantly increase passenger and freight movement on waterways.

The Union Minister praised the efforts made to promote river cruise tourism in the country and recent initiatives such as the introduction of Hybrid Electric Catamaran vessels and the country's first Hydrogen Vessel.

Collaboration with northeastern states was also highlighted, with a robust mechanism in place to ensure effective CSS project implementation.

Addressing human resource issues, the minister discussed overcoming challenges in the Indo-Bangladesh Protocol (IBP) route and proposed innovative solutions for expediting Inland Water Transport (IWT) work in Goa, Maharashtra, and Gujarat, leveraging technology and inter-state cooperation to enhance national infrastructure.

Sarbananda Sonowal also assessed the interventions being made by the Authority to promote IWT activities in the northeastern region, especially Brahmaputra, Barak and Dhansiri rivers in Assam.

Initiatives to improve regional connectivity with neighbouring countries like Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Myanmar were also evaluated.

New technological advancements by IWAI made to improve navigation were also showcased to the Union Minister.

The cargo movement on national waterways has increased to over 133 million tonnes recording a CAGR growth of 22.1 per cent over a period of 10 years from FY 2014 to FY 2024.

IWAI aims to increase the modal share of freight movement through IWT from 2 per cent to 5 per cent and traffic volume to more than 200 MMT in line with the Maritime India Vision 2030 and more than 500 MMT by 2047 as per the Maritime Amrit Kaal Vision 2047.

To develop inland waterways as drivers of economic growth and commerce in the country, an investment of Rs 45,000 crore for development of river cruise tourism in the country has been planned.

Of this ambitious sum, an estimated Rs 35,000 crore has been earmarked for cruise vessels and another Rs 10,000 crore for development of cruise terminal infrastructure at the end of Amrit Kaal, i.e. by 2047.

To amp up inland waterways for cargo trade, an investment of Rs 15,200 crore has been arrived at the Global Maritime India Summit (GMIS) held in Mumbai in October, 2023.

This is likely to register a growth rate of more than 400 per cent, increasing the volume upto 500 Million Tonnes Per Annum (MTPA) by 2047.

With the Harit Nauka Guidelines, the MoPSW has put forth a strong commitment towards furthering passenger transport through waterways in an environment friendly and sustainable manner by promoting the adoption of low-emission fuel (CNG/LNG/electric/hydrogen/methanol) as propulsion fuel for inland vessel operations (Green Vessels).



Top Stories

Comment on this article

Leave a Comment

Title: Sarbananda Sonowal unveils 5-yr action plan for new national waterways to boost economic growth

You have 2000 characters left.


Please write your correct name and email address. Kindly do not post any personal, abusive, defamatory, infringing, obscene, indecent, discriminatory or unlawful or similar comments. will not be responsible for any defamatory message posted under this article.

Please note that sending false messages to insult, defame, intimidate, mislead or deceive people or to intentionally cause public disorder is punishable under law. It is obligatory on Daijiworld to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments, to the authority concerned upon request.

Hence, sending offensive comments using daijiworld will be purely at your own risk, and in no way will be held responsible.