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Discussion Starter #1
India has an extensive network of inland waterways in the form of rivers, canals, backwaters and creeks. The total navigable length is 14,500 km, out of which about 5200 km of river and 4000 km of canals can be used by mechanised crafts. Freight transportation by waterways is highly under-utilised in India compared to other large countries and geographic areas like the United States, China and the European Union. The total cargo moved (in tonne kilometres) by the inland waterway was just 0.1% of the total inland traffic in India, compared to the 21% figure for United States. Cargo transportation in an organised manner is confined to a few waterways in Goa, West Bengal, Assam and Kerala. Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) is the statutory authority in charge of the waterways in India. Its headquarters is located in Noida, UP. It does the function of building the necessary infrastructure in these waterways, surveying the economic feasibility of new projects and also administration and regulation.

National Waterway 1: Allahabad–Haldia stretch of the Ganges–Bhagirathi–Hooghly river system.

National Waterway 2: Sadiya — Dhubri stretch of Brahmaputra river.

National Waterway 3: Kottapuram-Kollam stretch of the West Coast Canal, Champakara Canal and Udyogmandal Canal.

National Waterway 4: Kakinada–Pondicherry stretch of canals and the Kaluvelly Tank, Bhadrachalam – Rajahmundry stretch of River Godavari and Wazirabad – Vijayawada stretch of River Krishna.

National Waterway 5: Talcher–Dhamra stretch of the Brahmani River, the Geonkhali - Charbatia stretch of the East Coast Canal, the Charbatia–Dhamra stretch of Matai river and the Mangalgadi - Paradip stretch of the Mahanadi River Delta.

National Waterway 6: Lakhipur to Bhanga of river Barak.
 

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http://www.telegraphindia.com/1140701/jsp/frontpage/story_18569226.jsp#.U7IhMbHN6Hg
Waterway dream few steps away
- Project involves Brahmani, Kharasua & Hansua rivers




Bhubaneswar, June 30: Work on the proposed National Waterway No. 5 will begin shortly with the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) deciding to execute a part of it through a joint venture in two phases.

The 201-km stretch of the waterway involving three rivers — Brahmani, Kharasua and Hansua — between Jokadia near Kalinga Nagar and Paradip and Dhamra ports will be developed by the Noida-based central government agency in the first phase in collaboration with the state government and Paradip and Dhamra ports.

In the second phase, the stretch between Talcher and Jokadia (131km) will be developed. The two-phase project with a length of 332km will be executed for Rs 2,000 crore.

The state government, the IWAI, and the two other stakeholders today formalised a memorandum of understanding here in the presence of chief minister Naveen Patnaik. Authority chairman Amitav Verma inked the MoU on behalf of his organisation.

The proposed waterway will help the industries in Kalinga Nagar and Vyasa Nagar industrial hub, apart from mines in Talcher and Daitary, to transport their goods to and from the ports through the riverway. While a number of steel plants have come up in the Kalinga Nagar region, there are several coal mines at Talcher and iron ore and chromite mines at Daitary.

Earlier, The Telegraph had published a number of reports on the status of the proposed waterway. In November 2008, a total river and canal stretch of 588km covering parts of Odisha and Bengal was declared as National Waterway No. 5 by the central government through an act.

However, the project could not take off, as initially, the proposal to develop the waterway in public-private-partnership (PPP) mode was considered economically unviable. In December last year, it was decided to form a joint venture between the IWAI, the state government and Paradip and Dhamra ports.

“The IWAI has assessed the development of the Talcher-Dhamra river stretch of National Waterway No. 5 to be economically viable and accordingly has taken steps to develop the project in two phases with a projected cost of around Rs 2,000 crore,” said IWAI chief engineer S. Dandapat.

The central agency will prepare the project proposal within five months from the date of execution of MoU and obtain necessary sanctions for the project. In the next three months, it will initiate action for execution of the project, which will be over within three years.

“The IWAI will initiate the measures for developing the fairway from the budgetary support of the Centre by way of dredging, repairing and reconstructing the weirs, navigational locks and installing navigational aids,” said Dandapat.

The fairway will be developed with a minimum depth of three metres to make it navigable for vessels with 1,500-tonne capacity.

“The state government will provide land free of cost and all possible assistance to fast track the project,” said chief minister Naveen Patnaik, who was present at the MoU-signing ceremony.

The state government will also develop terminal facilities at Pankapal or Jokadia through a joint venture with Paradip Port Trust, and Dhamra Port Company Limited. Paradip and Dhamra ports will develop captive terminal facilities on their premises following which they will operate, maintain and manage the cargo-handling operations.

Paradip Port Trust chairman Sudhanshu Sekhar Mishra said: “The proposed waterway will be economical and environment-friendly and also ease the burden on the existing road and rail transport system.”

Chief executive officer of Dhamra Port Company Limited Santosh Kumar Mohapatra said the waterway would help in enhancing cargo evacuation.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Big gain for inland water transport
TNN | Jul 11, 2014, 04.19 AM IST


KOLKATA: Cargo movement along National Waterway I will receive a tremendous boost with Rs 4,200 crore being set aside in the Budget for development of the stretch of river between Haldia and Allahabad over a period of six years.

The 1,620 km Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hooghly river system between Haldia and Allahabad is the first of India's five existing national waterways. It was declared National Waterway I in 1986. It has tremendous potential to move cargo in barges to locations in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. There are 10 thermal power plants located along this stretch and 11 more are expected to become operational soon.

The total requirement of coal for these power plants will be nearly 70 million tonne, 14 mt of which will have to be imported. In addition to this, there are seven fertilizer plans along NW1. These can provide an estimated 7.65 lakh tonne of cargo per year.

However, the full potential for cargo movement along this stretch is yet to be realized due to lack of initiative. According to Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT) chairman RPS Kahlon, dredging is required in some places. "Though KoPT isn't directly involved in this movement, we have been part of the discussions as the transloading takes place under our jurisdiction. A minimum permissible draft needs to be maintained for safe movement of barges. This should ideally be 4-5 metres. Dredging is required for this," he said.

"Development of NW1 will involve deepening of the channel, building of floating jetties, barrages, lock structures and increasing the capacity of the existing lock at Farakka. The capacity of Farakka is not known fully as only 1-2 vessels cross the barrage every day," said SVK Reddy, director, IWAI, Kolkata.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
IWAI looking for Norway collaboration
Udit Prasanna Mukherji,TNN | Jun 12, 2014, 03.16 PM IST


KOLKATA: The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), Ministry of Shipping, is exploring the possibility of providing the country an environment-friendly, economic and safer navigational facility through technology transfer from Norway. It was discussed at an Interactive Session organized by the Indian Chamber of Commerce and the IWAI in Calcutta on Thursday under the Chairmanship of Jayashree Mukherjee, Vice-Chairperson, AIWI.

Representatives of the Royal Norwegian Embassy in New Delhi, delegates from reputed Norwegian firms like Rolls Royce and TTS Group of companies along with a financial institution discussed the subject with some of the prominent stake holders at Kolkata from among the Ship builders, and Barge Operating firms in India

The prime issues identified for discussion during the meet included identification of cargo for IWT and assessment of the requirement of the operators, ship builders and Industry demand for adoption of Inland Water Transport for efficient vessel construction. During the interaction with Norwegian team on related issues, like shallow draft vessel design optimization, vessel maintenance & operational requirements were discussed.

The IWAI is currently engaged in working on various measures to promote India's water transport system on the National Waterways with the objective of exploring the requisite fairway, terminal infrastructure and 24 -hr navigational aids to ensure a complimentary, if not entirely alternative, navigation system on a large stretch of the country's waterways.

The participants were of the opinion that while some of the agencies are already availing the facilities, much more is still to be done. In its endeavors to promote IWT as a viable, alternative mode of transport to decongest the already saturated Rail & Road transport sectors in the Eastern Region, the Government is engaged in technology transfer from developed countries. As a part of these Technology Transfer agreements, the Government of India has initiated bilateral assistance programmes in the Maritime sector with countries like Netherlands and Norway. A Joint Working Group has already been set up by India and Norway for Maritime development in India with a specific subgroup for IWT related activities.

The longest among the waterways in India, National Waterway -one, (Ganga - Hooghly - Bhagirathi river system) between Sagar (Haldia) and Allahabad (1640 Km) traverses through the states of West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. National Waterway-2 (River Brahmaputra) between Dhubri and Sadia (840 Km) traverses through the NE state of Assam, and the National Waterway-3 (West Coast Canal System) between Kottapuram and Kollkam including Champakkara canal and Udyogamandal canals (205 Km) passes through Kerala.

In addition, the IWAI also develops and maintains Indo Bangladesh Protocol routes through Sunderban waterways. Protocol routes (1-4) connect National waterway -1 and National Waterway-2 through cross border waterways in Bangladesh. Movement of cargo through these National waterways and Protocol Routes is already in vogue. Besides these, development of two more National waterways (NW4 in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu and NW5 in Odisha) are in progress.
 

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Union Budget 2014: Haldia-Allahabad waterways stands benefited with Rs 4,200 crore funds
Rajiv Mani,TNN | Jul 12, 2014, 11.16 AM IST


ALLAHABAD: Finance minister Arun Jaitley's maiden budget had brought cheers for the people living on the banks of the Ganga. The announcement of Rs 4,200 crores fund to rejuvenate the Haldia-Allahabad waterway has spelled hope for operators of medium and large ships that were not able to reach Allahabad due to silt deposition in the Ganga.

The Haldia-Allahabad Waterway is the longest in the country, with an overall length of 1,620 kilometres. The first cargo ship arrived at Allahabad way back in 1998 which had anchored in Saraswati Ghat of the city. Later, another cargo ship, named MV Rajgopalchari, left for Haldia along with 600 metric tonnes of cement.

The waterways was also used for shipping the building material during the construction of New Yamuna bridge. In 2009, a large chimney meant for a thermal power plant being constructed in trans-Yamuna was subject of curiosity for hundreds of onlookers.

"However, navigation up to Allahabad deteriorated because of increase of silt on the riverbed after 2003," junior hydrographic surveyor of Inland Waterway Authority of India RC Pandey said. "Big cargo ships need two-metre of water depth for smooth navigation. Because of increase in silt, the depth has decreased substantially. Although new cargo ships can smoothly navigate in 1.5 metres depth. There are ships which remove silt while moving forward," he added.

The stretch of around 41 kms from Allahabad to Sirsa (downstream) has an average depth of 0.8 metres because of which large cargo ships are not able to reach Allahabad. The department needed huge funds to remove silt and make the waterway navigational throughout the year.

Even traders, officials of industrial houses and common man are in an upbeat mood after the budgetary announcement. "After a long time, Allahabad will again contribute to the development of the nation and this will also improve employment opportunities," said SU Khan, a trader involved in supplying items to companies of Naini industrial area and has to depend on trains or roads to bring products from Kolkata.

In deep waters?

(A) For making a terminal on this waterway, the department, in 2004, had purchased 9.87 acres of land at Lawayin Khurd in Karchana block. The department had invested Rs 35 lakhs to procure land and had planned to construct a warehouse equipped with needed infrastructure. However, crunch of funds had derailed the projects, which are now likely to restart after the budget speech

(B) Transporting cargo through waterway is 75% cheaper as compared to trains, thus starting of this waterway will enhance transportation and promote trading from Allahabad with eastern parts of the country

(C ) Last year, two cargo ships had left Haldia port for Allahabad but because of lack of water depth, the cargo had to be unloaded before Allahabad

(D) Haldia-Allahabad route is as follows: Allahabad, Sirsa, Mirzapur, Varanasi, Gazipur, Ballia, Patna, Bhagalpur, Farraka and Kolkata
 

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Budget 2014: Ganga to be developed as waterway
By PTI | 10 Jul, 2014, 06.08PM IST


Jaitley said development of inland waterways can improve vastly the capacity for the transportation of goods.

NEW DELHI: The government today announced formulating a policy to encourage Indian controlled vessels to boost sea-borne trade and employment, saying its focus is on port connectivity besides developing Ganga as a waterway at a cost of Rs 4,200 crore to transport cargo.

"A policy for encouraging the growth of Indian controlled tonnage will be formulated to ensure increase in employment of the Indian seafarers. Development of ports is also critical for boosting trade," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in his Budget 2014-15 speech in Parliament.

Sixteen new port projects are proposed to be awarded this year with a focus on port connectivity, he said.

Also, he announced Rs 11,635 crore allocation for the development of Outer Harbour Project in Tuticorin for phase I.

"SEZs will also be developed in Kandla and JNPT," he said, adding: "A comprehensive policy will also be announced to promote Indian ship building industry in the current financial year".

Jaitley said development of inland waterways can improve vastly the capacity for the transportation of goods.

"A project on the river Ganga called 'Jal Marg Vikas' (National Waterways-I) will be developed between Allahabad and Haldia to cover a distance of 1,620 km, which will enable commercial navigation of at least 1,500 tonne vessels," he said.

The project will be completed over a period of six years at an estimated cost of Rs 4,200 crore.

Besides, Jaitley also announced rationalisation of duty on ship breaking scrap and melting scrap of iron or steel by reducing basic custom duty on ship imported for breaking up from 5 per cent to 2.5 per cent.

"Indian shipping industry had been representing that they are losing business in a tough global scenario, due to a provision in the Place of Provision of Services Rules, which is now being addressed through an amendment," he said.

Similarly, to encourage growth in the transport of goods through coastal vessels, the tax incidence is being reduced, he added.

India has 12 major ports - Kandla, Mumbai, JNPT, Marmugao, New Managlore, Cochin, Chennai, Ennore, V O Chidambarnar, Visakhapatnam, Paradip and Kolkata (including Haldia), which handle approximately 61 per cent of country's total cargo traffic.

These ports had handled 560.13 MT of cargo in 2011-12 and 596.03 MT cargo in 2010-11. The present capacity of major ports is only about 700 MT, while the Maritime Agenda of the Ministry has fixed a target of 3130 MT capacity addition by 2020.

Last fiscal, the government awarded 30 projects to augment major ports capacity to 220 million tonnes per annum.
 

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Rs 4,200-crore Ganga waterway plan to help power sector
By Megha Mandavia, ET Bureau | 12 Jul, 2014, 11.13AM IST


MUMBAI: The beleaguered power sector will be among the first beneficiaries of the government's proposal to develop the Ganga waterway. Experts say the Rs 4,200-crore plan will help speed up transportation of coal to power plants in the north and east of the country. Coal accounts for about 55per cent of India's energy needs.

Despite the country's high dependency on the fuel, problem with logistics means coal from pit heads generally lies idle for months before it can be moved to railway sidings for transportation to power plants.

On Thursday, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced the government's intent to develop the river route between Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh and Haldia in West Bengal over the next six years.

The National Waterway project will entail building the river channel and river ports along the banks of the Ganga.

"It will be used largely for transportation of coal to power plants," said Manish Saigal, managing director at advisory firm Alvarez & Marsal. "Companies can also use the route to transport coal coming from Indonesia. This coal usually gets unloaded at Paradip, Haldia and Dhamra on the east coast." Some of India's largest coal reserves are in the north and east of the country.

Almost 50 per cent of the fuel is transported by rail, 20per cent by road and about 12per cent through the merry go round (MGR) system, according to Infrasight Consulting.

"The transportation of coal is marred with inherent problems, like reserves being situated in difficult terrains, which are vastly scattered," the consultancy wrote in a report, adding that "bulk of the coal lies in the belt of eastern corridor under the forest belt and tribal areas".

Experts say power producers are awaiting the development of inland waterways to transport coal. Last year, state-run power producer National Thermal Power Corporation started transporting imported coal through the inland waterways route to its Farakka plant in West Bengal.

"I feel the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor may become a much more effective mode of transport for power plants in Uttar Pradesh. However, the fact that inland waterway development does not involve land acquisition, the projects may come on board faster than dedicated freight corridors," said Ashima Tyagi, senior consultant for metals and mining at Infraline Energy.

The river opens up an alternate channel and industries around that region can use the waterway to decongest the roads, said Jaydeep Ghosh, national head of transport and logistics at KPMG India.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/lucknow/sunken-since-86-waterway-project-to-resurface-with-rs-4200-cr-allocation/
Sunken since ’86, waterway project to resurface with Rs 4,200 cr allocation

Allocation of Rs 4,200 crore in the Union Budget was announced Thursday for the development of the Allahabad-Haldia National Waterway-1 (NW-1) is likely to give fillip to the ambitious project, which was envisaged way back in 1986.

The project, which aimed to use the 1,620 km-long channel not only for transportation of goods but also for river cruises, has been languishing for the past several years. It was to be completed in six years.

The project envisages construction of permanent terminals at various places, including Varanasi, the constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, besides floating terminals at a number of places, including Allahabad and Ghazipur.

However, a large number of basic infrastructure works are yet to be taken up.

According to official figures, cargo transportation on NW-1 has increased from over 13 lakh Metric Tonnes (MT) in 2008-09 to 33.09 lakh MT in 2011-12. However, it came down to 27.16 lakh MT in 20012-13. Most of this movement has been towards the Haldia end of the NW-1.

Many upcoming power plants in Allahabad and other places along the channel had made the IWAI enthusiastic about transporting coal, besides other raw material. But the projects have not materialised so far.

“Last year in October, we had a vessel carrying a transformer for the upcoming power plant of the National Thermal Power Corporation in Allahabad, which could otherwise have been very difficult to be transported via rail or road. Similar equipment for a private power company was also taken till Naini using the inland waterway,” said a source in the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI). No major vessel has used the channel since, he added.

“The situation has been improving gradually, but a lot of work is yet to be done. With this budgetary announcement and a time-bound approach, we are hoping to see more and more cargo vessels plying down the channel,” said R C Pandey, office incharge of the IWAI sub-regional office at Allahabad. The IWAI has requested the World Bank to provide technical assistance, as well as investment support for ensuring navigation at LAD (Least Available Depth) of 2.5 metres to 3 metres.

The IWAI also detected at least six bridges last year that were being constructed by Uttar Pradesh Public Works Department and the Rajkiya Nirman Nigam Limited between Mirzapur and Ghazipur, which threatened to block the navigational channel.

“The work on these bridges has been stopped as their horizontal and vertical specifications were not conducive to navigation of bigger vessels. They are in the process of modifying their structures and will be given No-Objection Certificate only after the IWAI clears it,” said Pandey.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Govt to rope in a Dutch firm to save dying Yamuna
Darpan Singh, Hindustan Times New Delhi, July 06, 2014


The government has decided to rope in a Dutch firm to chalk out a plan on how the Yamuna can be made navigable by bringing back all-season fresh water flow to what has become a noxious black thread.
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Saving the fabled river has never been more critical for Delhi as the city meets 70% of its water needs from its waters, before the channel becomes shallow and starts carrying only domestic sewage and industrial pollutants — half of it untreated.

“The ministry of shipping is trying to work with a reputed consultancy company in the Netherlands for a scientific study,” said a senior Delhi government official, adding, “We want to start boating in the river. It’s not impossible”.

During monsoon a lot of rainwater flows out of Delhi, the official said, and the government he claimed was looking to trap this. “Dredging the channel is an option. Building dams and raising the height of existing barrages are other options”. In the meantime, the Delhi Jal Board must give a deadline by which it will have to ensure that no untreated sewage or industrial affluent go into the river,” he said.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
NW I

Declaration date: October, 1986


The Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hooghly river system between Haldia (Sagar) & Allahabad (1620 kms) was declared as National Waterway No. 1(NW-1) during October 1986. IWAI is carrying out various developmental works on the waterway for improvement of its navigability as laid down in the IWAI Act, 1985 (82 of 1985). As per IWAI, Act 1985, IWAI is responsible to develop the waterway for navigation. Till 2010 IWAI had been maintaining a navigable depth of 2.5 meters between Haldia(Sagar) & Farakka (560 km), 2.0 meters in Farakka Patna (460 Km) and 1.5 meters in Patna Allahabad sector (600Km). At present the waterway is being used by tourism vessels, ODC Carriers, IWAI vessels etc. At present several power companies have initiated action for setting up Thermal Power projects and extensive movement of over dimensional cargo (ODC), imported coal for NTPC projects is planned to operate during the next 5-6 years, while a number of ODC consignments and tourist vessels (Pandaw cruise from Kolkata to Varanasi and VIVADA cruise vessel from Kolkata to Murshidabad) were recorded to have moved through the waterway during 2009-10. The Authority is acquiring the additional dredging fleet during 2010. After deployment of the additional dredgers along with Bandalling it is planned to provide an enhanced minimum depth of 3.0 meters in Haldia(Sagar) Farakka, 2.50 meters in Farakka Patna, 2.0 meters in Patna Varanasi and 1.5 meters in Patna Allahabad sector during 2010-11.

 

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Discussion Starter #11
Bangladesh first time allows FCI to use its port for Tripura
By PTI | 28 Jul, 2014, 03.28PM IST


For the first time an FCI consignment will enter Tripura using Ashuganj river port of Bangladesh, a senior official said today.For the first time an FCI consignment will enter Tripura using Ashuganj river port of Bangladesh, a senior official said today.
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AGARTALA: For the first time an FCI consignment will enter Tripura using Ashuganj river port of Bangladesh, a senior official said today.

About 5000 tonnes of foodgrains, dispatched by the Food Corporation of India (FCI) from Kakinada port in Andhra Paradesh, has reached Ashuganj river port in Bangladesh for entry into Tripura, Chief Secretary S K Panda said.

"FCI officials informed that the consignment of foodgrains have reached Ashuganj port. Unloading of the foodgrains and transportation by trucks for Tripura would be started after the Eid festival on Tuesday," Panda said.

The consignment had earlier reached Kolkata from where it was brought to the Ashuganj port by using the waterways of Bangladesh. The port is 37 km from here.

Congratulating Bangladesh for allowing to use the waterways for transportation of the foodgrains, Tripura Transport Minister Manik De said it had cut down our cost and distance from 1650 km to 350 km.

He said, for the first time, Bangladeshi trucks would carry foodgrains from Ashuganj directly to the FCI warehouse at Nandannagar here to prevent a second transhipment at the Akhaura Indo-Bangladesh border and for the purpose of allowing Bangladesh trucks inside Indian territory, the Ministry of External Affairs had given clearances and 'truck scanners' had been installed at the Akhaura checkpost.

"We have also made arrangements for proper escort of Bangladesh trucks along with drivers upto the warehouse and during the return journey," he said.

"The foodgrains usually come by rail using broad gauge railway track up to Lumding in Assam then proceeds by narrow gauge. In the process unloading and reloading is a difficult problem and landslides often create transportation problems,"he said.

"We had long been demanding to the central government to take up with Bangladesh for allowing their soil and water for transport of goods to Tripura and there is no denying the fact that the central government has taken up the matter with the neighbouring country on several occasions," the minister said.

Another consignment of 5,000 tonnes would be transported to the state as a pilot initiative by FCI to check the feasibility of transporting 10,000 tonnes of rice to the north eastern states via Bangladesh, FCI officials said.

After successful transportation of 10,000 tonnes of rice, the union government was expected to ask Bangladesh to allow 35,000 tonnes of foodgrains to be transported to Tripura annually, they said.

Earlier, Bangladesh allowed ONGC to carry over dimensional machines of the Palatana mega power project in Gomati district by using the waterways and roadways of Bangladesh, the FCI officials added.
 

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Shipping Ministry sets up monitoring unit for Rs 4,200 crore Ganga project
By PTI | 26 Aug, 2014, 07.27PM IST


NEW DELHI: The Shipping Ministry has set up a monitoring unit for its ambitious Rs 4,200 crore Allahabad- Haldia Jal Marg Vikas project on Ganga for commercial navigation as well as cruise tours connecting religious places.

The development follows Prime Minister Narendra Modi recent review of important infrastructure projects.

"Process of establishment of PMU (project monitoring unit) has been completed," Shipping Ministry has said in a communication to the Finance Ministry.

The project includes developing the National Waterways-1 between Allahabad-Varanasi -Buxar-Patna-Haldia, which has several religious places.

The Ministry said a detailed project report for 'Jal Marg Vikas' (National Waterways-I) is under preparation for it to cover a distance of 1,620 km, which will enable commercial navigation of at least 1500 tonne vessels.

"The project will be completed over a period of six years at an estimated cost of Rs 4,200 crore. The implementation of Jal Marg Vikas by 2020 would enable movement of large cruise vessels through the year up to Allahabad," it said.

At present, the cruise ships can ply between Kolkata and Varanasi for about 8 months. President Pranab Mukherjee in his address had said Inland and Coastal waterways will be developed as major transport routes.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitely while presenting the budget had also said that a project on river Ganga will be developed between Allahabad and Haldia to cover a distance of 1620 km, which will enable commercial navigation of at least 1500 tonne vessels.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/Sena-MP-seeks-water-transport-system-from-Kalyan-to-Mumbai/articleshow/37723575.cms
Sena MP seeks water transport system from Kalyan to Mumbai

KALYAN: Shiv Sena MP Shreekant Shinde from Kalyan LokSabha has demanded MMRDA to start water transort system from Kalyan to Mumbai to reduce traffic on roads.

The MP claimed that MMRDA commissioner has assured him to conduct a study and prepare a feasibility report.

The Shiv Sena MP announced this at a press conference on Thursday.

"In view of the rising traffic problem in city he have asked MMRDA to start water transport system through Ulhas river and Kalyan creek which connects city like Dombivli-Kalyan- Virar and Mumbai through sea," he said.

The MP claimed that water transort will not only help to reduce traffic, but will also save fuel and help to reduce pollution.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/lucknow/push-to-navigation-cruise-sails-in-ganga-after-5-yrs/
Push to navigation: Cruise sails in Ganga after 5 yrs

ABN Rajmahal carrying a dozen tourists arrives from Kolkata to Varanasi across National Waterway No. 1.

In a sign of revival of navigation in the Ganga, a cruise vessel carrying nearly a dozen tourists reached Varanasi from Kolkata on Wednesday. The river system between Varanasi and Kolkata was identified as National Waterway No. 1 (NW-1) in 1986. This is the second cruise vessel to reach Varanasi after the first one in 2009.

Officials of the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) said work has already begun on making the NW-1 navigational throughout the year. In the Union Budget, the NW-1 project was allocated Rs 4,200 crore over a period of six years.

The private luxury cruise, ABN Rajmahal, of a private company based in Assam, had left Kolkata on August 8 and reached Varanasi’s Khirkiya Ghat near Rajghat Wednesday

Lack of depth in river water from Zamania (Ghazipur) to Kaithi (on Ghazipur-Varanasi border), a stretch of over 60 km, has been a major problem in navigation for cruise ships and merchant vessels, which usually carry heavy load.

Talking to The Indian Express over phone, Director (Patna Regional Office), IWAI, Gurmukh Singh, said: “Rajmahal is the second cruise after Pandava cruise, which had reached Varanasi, and also Allahabad in 2009. The bed from Zamania to Kaithi is rocky and shallow.

Once a vessel manages to cross this stretch, there is usually no difficulty for it to reach Varanasi or Chunar. Tenders are in the process of being floated to deepen the rocky bed in this stretch. Once that is done, we will ensure by dredging that a depth of 2.5 metres to 3 m is maintained.”

Singh added this particular cruise vessel was able to sail through because of the high water level in the river due to floods. “This situation is likely to remain till November or so. But then, the water levels will go down. We want to make it navigational for the entire year,” he said. He added at least three barrages are also proposed in the stretch between Zamania and Kaithi.

“The locations of these barrages are yet to be finalised. But the idea is to retain water and maintain navigational depth,” he added. The official said the work was being done in constant consultation with the ministry of water resources that is also taking care of the task of cleaning up the Ganga.

Shailesh Tripathy, president of the Varanasi unit of Tourist Guide Association, who conducted the Varanasi leg of the tour, said: “After the first visit of Pandava to Varanasi and down to Allahabad in 2009, the cruise used to stop at Ghazipur, because the river became shallow after that, which was not fit for navigation. The travel agents would provide a bus link to Varanasi and nearby places to the tourists, who were again taken to Ghazipur and returned on the cruise to Kolkata.”

Santosh Singh, another government approved guide, who conducted this particular tour from Patna to Varanasi, said: “The vessel has left today for Chunar (Mirzapur). We will return on August 30. There are British nationals onboard.”
 

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http://www.travelpulse.com/news/cruise/uniworld-expands-to-indias-ganges-river.html
Uniworld Expands to India’s Ganges River
Cruise | Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection | Theresa Norton Masek | September 04, 2014




PHOTO: Uniworld is offering cruise-tour packages to India starting in January 2016, using a sister ship to the Ganges Voyager, pictured in the rendering above, expected to enter service in January 2015. (Courtesy of Haimark Ltd.)

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is expanding to a new, exotic destination — India. Starting in January 2016, the company will offer 12-night packages that include a seven-night river cruise on the Ganges River and a five-night land tour with accommodations in Oberoi properties. The India program will open for bookings on Oct. 15.

The cruises will be operated by the 56-passenger Ganges Voyager II, which is being built by Haimark Ltd., a new company rapidly expanding in the Asia river cruise arena. Its first India vessel, the Ganges Voyager, is expected to enter service in January 2015, and is being marketed by various tour operators including APT and Vantage Travel.

The all-suite Ganges Voyager II will have the 400-square-foot Maharaja Suite, two 360-square-foot Viceroy Suites, two 280-square-foot Heritage Suites and 20 Standard Suites measuring 261 square feet. Suites will have French balconies, sitting areas, flat-screen televisions, rain showers, robes and slippers, and Molton Brown bath products.

Guests staying in the Viceroy Suites will get daily butler service, laundry service, and one complimentary spa treatment per person. Those in the Maharaja Suite will get additional amenities, including in-suite dining and scented baths in the in-suite, deep-soaker tub.

Public areas include the Governor’s Lounge with onboard entertainment and cultural events, the observation deck with 360-degree views, a spa and fitness center, and the East India Restaurant with menus featuring both Indian-inspired cuisine and Western favorites.

The itinerary includes Delhi, the Taj Mahal, Rajasthan’s Pink City of Jaipur, Mother Teresa’s tomb and former home in Kolkata, and more. During the Ganges River cruise, passengers will visit villages inaccessible by road and keep an eye out for wildlife, including freshwater dolphins and parrots.

Uniworld will offer an optional extension to Varanasi, revered as the holiest spot on India’s holiest river, as well as one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited cities. The two-night extension includes a city tour, a scenic boat ride to observe a Ganga Aarti fire ceremony at sunset, and a private boat ride along the river at sunrise.
 

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NW4 - Buckingham Canal

Introduction

The Buckingham Canal is a 421.55 kilometres (261.9 mi) long fresh water navigation canal, running parallel to the Coromandel Coast of South India from Kakinada in East Godavari district in Andhra Pradesh to Villupuram District in Tamil Nadu. The canal connects most of the natural backwaters along the coast to the port of Chennai (Madras). It was constructed during the British Rule, and was an important waterway during the late nineteenth and the twentieth century.

It was first known simply as the North River by the British and was believed to be partly responsible for reducing tsunami and cyclone damage to much of the Chennai-southern Andhra coastline

History

Originally known as Cochrane's canal, the first segment of the canal was constructed as a saltwater navigation canal in 1806,[1] from Madras North to Ennore for a distance of 11 miles. It was financed by Basil Cochrane. Subsequently, it was extended north to Pulicat Lake, 40 kilometres (24.9 mi) north of Madras. The canal was taken over by the government of Madras Presidency in 1837 and further extended, ultimately reaching 315 kilometres (195.7 mi) north of Madras to Vijayawada on the bank of Krishna River in Andhra Pradesh, and 103 kilometres (64.0 mi) south of Chennai to Marakkanam in Tamil Nadu. When the canal was opened, it was named Lord Clive's Canal and later as Buckingham Canal. However, the section in Madras had been known as Cochrane's canal for much of the 19th century.[2]

During 1877 and 1878 the people of Madras suffered from the terrible Great Famine and more than 6 million people perished. The 8-kilometre (5.0 mi) stretch, linking the Adyar and Cooum rivers, was built in 1877-78 at a cost of Rs.3 millions as a famine relief work. The canal was named the Buckingham Canal in 1878 because the link, was built on the orders of the then Governor, the Duke of Buckingham and Chandos.

Course of the canal

The canal runs approximately 1 km (0.62 mi) back from the coastline. The Cooum River connects the canal to the Bay of Bengal in the center of Chennai. The portion north of the Cooum is known as the North Buckingham Canal, and the portion south of the Cooum as the South Buckingham Canal. 257 km (160 mi) of the canal is in Andhra Pradesh, and 163 km (101 mi) is in Tamil Nadu. Approximately 31 km (19 mi) is within the city limits of Chennai.

Buckingham Canal Thru Chennai



Effect of the Tsunami

Dr. B. Ramalingeswara Rao first identified buffer zone action of Buckingham Canal when he visited coastal areas of 300 kilometres (186.4 mi) along the coast and also he recommended to the Government to renovate the same to mitigate the Tsunami Hazards in future. Further, Ramalingeswara Rao (2005) reported as: During the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the Buckingham Canal acted as a buffer zone and regulated the Tsunami waves on the coastal region over nearly 310 kilometres (192.6 mi) from Pedda Ganjam to Chennai. The canal all along the coast was filled with Tsunami water, which overflowed at a few places and receded back to sea within 10-15 min. This helped save the lives of several fishermen, especially in coastal Andhra Pradesh and parts of Chennai city and also helped in clearing of the aquaculture debris. The natural growth of vegetation on either side of the canal, has had an effect in Tsunami mitigation; for example in Vakadu Mandal at villages like Pudikappam, Srinivasapuram and Tudipalem, the damages were minimal.

Ramalingeswara Rao had further assessed on the extension of Buckingham Canal up to Vedaranyam in order to protect Tamil Nadu coast from the fury of Tsunamis in future. The maximum magnitude MW 8.5 may occur in future in Sumatra because of its continuous subduction.

Revival of the Canal

Revival of Buckingham canal took shape by government's National Waterway (NW-4) declaration on November, 2008. Both North Buckingham (Peddakanjam, Ongole-Chennai) and south Buckingham (basin bridge, Chennai - Marakkanam) canal will be developed under the proposed National Waterway 4 by Inland waterways authority of India. Periodically, government of Tamil Nadu also takes up dredging and widening of the canal through Water Resources Department, Public Works Department (PWD). With the provisions of State-Center shared Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission JNNURM, PWD has started widening the South Buckingham Canal from Okkiyam Madu to Muttukadu for a stretch of 13.5 kilometres (8.4 mi)[5] About Rs.1447.91 crore has been allocated under the JNNURM for integrated development of waterways and macro drainages like Buckingham canal, Otteri Nullah, Virugambakkam – Arumbakkam drain, Cooum and Adyar river.[6] Despite of the development, the central section of the canal running through the most congested areas of Chennai, a length of 7.1 kilometres (4.4 mi) will remain unnavigable due to severe encroachments and construction of the Chennai Mass Rapid Transport System.

On 22 January 2010, Government of Tamil Nadu has reconstituted the Adayar Poonga Trust as Chennai River Restoration Trust for restoration of Chennai rivers (Adayar river, Cooum river) including the Buckingham Canal. In 2011 improvements were being undertaken on the 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) stretch between Okkiyam Madu and Muttukadu under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission. The canal was being widened to 100 metres (328.1 ft) and a U.S.A. built dredge was being used to deepen the canal to 2.4 metres (8 ft). Also under this project, six small causeways across the canal would be reconstructed into single-lane bridges

Source : Wiki
 

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Soon, a boat trip down the canal



Commercial and tourist traffic may return to the Buckingham canal on 45-km stretch from Thiruvanmiyur to Kalpakkam

Believe it or not, boating may return to Buckingham canal. However, it’s not the portion near Chennai Central but a 45-km stretch from Thiruvanmiyur to Kalpakkam, where the canal looks like its original self, which might see traffic and activity returning.

The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) has been given a go-ahead by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to carry out an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Environmental Management Plan (EMP) report along the South Buckingham Canal.

The plan is to make this stretch of the canal suitable for navigation of cargo vessels of maximum 300 tonnes and movement of tourist and passenger vessels of reasonable size as well as construction of three terminals for loading and unloading of cargo.

According to the plan, the canal needs dredging and banks have to be formed with excavated soil. It also requires dredging of sea mouths in Muttukadu and Kalpakkam and subsequent maintenance.

Terminals have to be constructed at suitable locations for cargo and passenger operation with necessary facilities including weigh bridges, truck parking and electrical sub-stations.

While granting permission for preparation of EIA/EMP reports, the MoEF has sought the map of the proposed locations of the terminals as they may fall within Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) and therefore, require clearance.

The MoEF has sought the feasibility report for the project to know the availability of pathway between Thiruvanmiyur to Kaplakkam in view of the existing bridges, road crossings and obstructions.

Officials say it would require dismantling and removal of the bridge at Kelambakkam that has less navigational clearance. A new bridge has to be constructed with the required clearance.

If the IWAI, a unit of the Union Shipping Ministry, can pull it off, Chennai will have another transport route running parallel and in between the East Coast Road and Old Mahabalipuram Road.
 

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