Bihar Govt urged to revive waterway transportation

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Patna, Sep. 11 (ANI): The committee working on inland waterways transportation held a seminar with the Bihar government in an effort to revive cargo and cruise movements on the rivers flowing through the state.

"The basic purpose of holding this seminar is to find out why the cargo movement, which was very large at one time in Patna and cruise movement has reduced so much and what possibly can be done to revive these movements," said S.P Gaur, Chairman, Inland Waterways Authority of India.

The chief secretary of the state, Anup Mukherjee, inaugurated the seminar.

At the end of the seminar, Bihar government's transport secretary Sunil Barthwal articulated a positive sign in the revival of waterways project.

"If 50 kilometres distance is being covered through the waterways then it would be equal to the road transport but if 150 kilometres is covered through waterways, then the cost of transportation through waterways would be half the cost of transportation through roadways. Today after hearing the feedback from the stakeholders present here, we feel that there is very good potential for development of inland waterways in Bihar," said Sunil Barthwal.

The IWAI came into existence on October 26, 1986 for development and regulation of inland waterways for shipping and navigation.

IWAI has been entrusted with the task of providing infrastructure like navigation facilities and putting up terminals with inter-modal linkages, cargo handling equipments and vessels.

As per the information by IWAI, India has about 14,500 kilometres of navigable waterways, which comprise rivers, canals, backwaters and creeks.

About 55 million tones of cargo are being moved annually by inland water transport.

However, the waterway operations are currently restricted to a few stretches in the Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hooghly rivers, the Brahmaputra river, the Barak river, rivers in Goa, the backwaters of Kerala, inland waters in Mumbai and the deltaic regions of the Godavari-Krishna rivers. (ANI)

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