Bowing his head in salutation to Ma Ganga, Prime Minister Narendra Modi scripted a landmark moment in the history of connectivity in India……History in the making…Prime Minister Narendra Modi receiving the country’s first container consignment to be sent on an inland waterways vessel. It is perhaps for the first time that a Prime Minister operated a cargo crane… This consignment containing cargo of the food and beverage company Pepsico set sail from Kolkata in the last week of October.
Development of inland waterways superbly complements the Modi government’s historic Sagarmala project. The prime objective of the project is to promote port-led direct and indirect development and to provide infrastructure to transport goods to and from ports quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively.
Prime Minister also dedicated to the nation an inland waterways terminal on river Ganga in Varanasi. This is the first of the four multi modal terminals being constructed on National Waterways-I as part of the World Bank aided Jal Marg Vikas project of the Inland Waterways Authority of India. It connects India to Bangladesh via the inland waterway route. Later National waterway 2 will extend connectivity to the North East.
The other three terminals are under construction at Sahibganj, Haldia and Gazipur. The project would enable commercial navigation of vessels with capacity of 1500-2,000 DWT on river Ganga. It has been developed at a cost of Rs 5369 Cr. Apart from this 2 intermodal terminals and 5 RO RO terminals are also being planned.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a walk around the Jetty. Currently, India has about 14,500 km of navigable waterways which comprise of rivers, canals, backwaters, and creeks. The country first river communication system will ensure safe navigation on this route. Not only this, a cruise model is also being developed for the Kumbh Mela next year for the benefit of devotees.