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Old January 6th, 2010, 02:54 AM   #1
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Inland Waterways

$1 billion project on River Indus: Inland Waterways Transport Authority to be set up

(i dont know if this thread already exists)

ISLAMABAD (January 05 2010): The government has decided to set up 'Inland Waterways Transport Authority' to carry out one billion dollars inland waterways project on River Indus. An MoU was signed between the Planning Commission and Agritech Limited (Pak American Fertilisers) to carry out a study for inland water navigation on Monday.

Sardar Aseff Ahmed Ali, deputy chairman, Planning Commission and Engineer Zahid Aziz, head of Engineering (Projects) Pak American Fertilisers Ltd signed the MoU on behalf of their respective departments. The signing ceremony was witnessed by the representatives of Pakistan Navy, Planning Commission and representatives of private sector. Agritech will finance the entire study that will be completed during the current fiscal year.

The study would enable the government to take a decision regarding a navigation project in River Indus. While addressing a press conference, Sardar Aseff Ahmad Ali said the Water and Power Ministry had sent a draft of proposed authority to the Prime Minister for approval that would later be forwarded to President Asif Ali Zardari to announce ordinance for setting up the authority. He said the Task Force on Maritime Industry had prepared a draft of the ordinance to establish the authority that was sent to the Prime Minister by the Water and Power Ministry.

"The authority will have representations from provinces, private sector and federal government to carry out the inland waterways project," he said and added that it will be an autonomous body that will float tenders to private sector for development projects such as terminal and jetty for inland waterways transportation.

He said that the inland waterways project would open new ways for transportation in Pakistan. "The transportation through water land ways would cost 10 percent less than means of other communication like rail or road," he said, adding that past governments had neglected this sector. "According to available data, inland waterways transportation potential exists on 30,000 kilometers," he said adding that waterways mode of transportation will reduce the cost of production in Pakistan enabling Pakistani products to make competitive in the world market.

He said the Planning Commission had presented in National Assembly the estimated cost of project at Rs 3.5 billion that was approved. He maintained that the amount of Rs 400 million was available at present to utilise on the first phase of the project." The amount will be transferred to the authority after its establishment," he noted.

He hoped that the authority would start on the first project on waterways transportation during the current year. "The project will be public private partnership initiative that would attract one billion dollars investment in this sector," he stated. According to a statement issued here, economic progress of any country depends on a fast and cost effective transport service to cater for domestic and international trade. 96 percent of Pakistan's freight is carried by road and less than 4 percent by rail.

The current volume of rail and road freight traffic is likely to increase from 170 billion tons/kms to over 600 billion tons/kms by 2020 due to improved economic activity. The major component of running cost of rail and road transport is imported fuel, which presently stands at over $9 billion and is likely to increase manifold in view of increasing freight transport.

There is 30,000 kms of rivers and perennial canal network in the country, which offers opportunity of establishing economical water transport system in the country. Setting up of inland water transport will reduce fuel consumption to about 8 to 10 times and 3to 4 times less than the rail transport.

The Planning Commission is launching a full scale Inland Water Transport Project as a policy of this government based on link -canals in Punjab & Sindh Provinces and on many sections of Indus River. For this purpose the summary of draft bill has been send to Prime Minister Secretariat through Ministry of Water & Power.

After the approval the President of Pakistan will be requested to issue an ordinance to make Pakistan Inland Waterways Transport Authority. It will be an autonomous authority with Administrative & Financial powers under the Ministry of Water & Power. Planning Commission will steer the whole process.

Member Infrastructure will be the member of Steering Committee. Planning Commission has allocated Rs 1.4 billion for the Inland Water transport System in PSDP of 2009-10 budget. As soon as the authority is made, work will be commenced on a detailed PC-1.The Inland Water Transport project is in line with the government's policy of public-private partnership. This is also in line with the objectives of National Trade Corridor Improvement Programme to reduce the cost of transportation.
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Old January 6th, 2010, 11:34 PM   #2
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Not a bad idea, any more details on the project? What type of facilities will they have on the rivers to load/unload goods and passengers? What type of ships/boats will be in the water?
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Old May 17th, 2011, 07:35 AM   #3
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Pakistan Close to Using water routes for transportation--nation news
By: Ahmad Ahmadani | Published: May 17, 2011

ISLAMABAD - Gearing up efforts to establish the most dramatic decision of recent decades, Pakistan is close to using water routes for transportation as on Monday the Water & Power Ministry was asked to formulate draft legislation in this regard for approval by the Council of Common Interest (CCI).
“A Pilot Project is being launched on a 200-kilometer stretch of the Indus River, followed by 200 kms on Nara and Jamrao Canals in Sindh and 300 kms on Kacchi Canal in Punjab and Balochistan”, reliable sources disclosed, adding, “Every kilometer of a standard 24-foot road costs Rs 80 to 100 million, while the cost of commissioning the entire 200 kms of the Indus Pilot Project is less than Rs 100 million”.

It is pertinent to mention here that on July 14, 2009 President Asif Ali Zardari during briefing in the Presidency on a host of mega development issues and projects had advised the government to engage experts and consultants for undertaking a study on the setting up of Inland Water Transport Authority (IWTA) to plan and develop an inland water transportation system on River Indus.

According to the sources after hearing presentations of the Planning Commission’s Task Force on Maritime Industry, the President earlier had directed that an Inland Water Transport Authority (IWTA) be formed. The draft legislation was prepared and, following the consent of the provinces, the Law Ministry and other stakeholders, it has been put up for Cabinet approval. Meanwhile, the first phase of three Pilot Projects has started. Pakistan Navy, with financial participation of the private sector, has conducted a survey of 200 kms of the Indus.

Charts have been prepared using the latest technologies and a comprehensive technical report prepared. The private sector, which will fund all shore equipment, terminals and cargo craft, has also conducted its financial studies and has started acquiring river craft for carrying cargos. A Pilot Project Cell is under formation, with participation of WAPDA and the Navy, for maintaining and regulating navigable channels The sources were of the view that the provinces were being encouraged to start work on their Pilot Projects, as under the 18th Amendment navigation on canals has devolved to the provinces while on the rivers it remains with the Federation. Once IWTA legislation is promulgated all inland navigation will come under one national Authority, the sources added.

Federal Minister for Water and Power, Syed Naveed Qamar, on Monday agreed to set up Inland Water Transport Authority (IWTA) and asked the Ministry to formulate draft legislation for approval from the Council of Common Interests. He took this decision while presiding over a meeting on the creation of IWTA held here in the Ministry. Secretary, Adviser and Additional Secretary of the Ministry, Chairman Wapda, Representatives from Planning Commission, Defence, Pakistan Navy participated.

The Minister said that the movement of passengers and goods plays a vital role in the economic activity of any country. Almost 96 percent of Pakistan’s freight is carried by road while less than 4 percent is rail borne. In order to reduce the fuel expenditures, there is need to create IWTA which will make use of rivers and canal network in the country, he added. Qamar said that the water transport is far cheaper than road or rail. It will reduce pressure on the common man, lower prices of goods, lower cost of production and create more jobs and open new areas. He was of the view that creation of IWTA is a national imperative. The meeting also approved a pilot project on Indus River and asked Wapda, and Pakistan Navy to take necessary steps, conduct survey and prepare a navigation chart in this regard. It was decided that the Authority will work under the Ministry of Water and Power while initially a Cell will be created comprises officials from Wapda and Navy in Wapda.

Earlier, Naeem Sarfaraz, Chairman of Task Force on Maritime Industry, briefed the meeting on the report and proposal of the IWTA. He also gave a detailed presentation on the potential, benefits and background of the water transport. The Chairman Wapda, representatives from Planning Commission and Pakistan Navy also gave their point of views on the proposed authority
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