Khammam (Telangana), Apr 1: Centre is planning to spend Rs five lakh crore in the next 10 years on developing waterways in the country, Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said here today.
Gadkari also said the bill for developing 101 river stretches as waterways would be passed in the Parliament session this month, and that the work on developing the 1,620 km-long waterway between Varanasi and Haldia has begun.
"I would like to assure you on that basis that in the next 10 years, we will carry out Rs five lakh crore works on these waterways and give a new direction to the country," Gadkari said at the foundation laying ceremony for a road project in Khammam district.
Noting that work on developing the 1,620 km-long waterway between Varanasi and Haldia has begun, the minister said works on four other waterways would take off after a study by international consultancies.
"We gave the legislative status in Parliament to five waterways that were already there. One (among them) is Ganga. We are developing the waterway between Varanasi and Haldia that is of 1,620 kms.
Men and materials would start moving on water there in two years. That day is not far," he said. "I would like to tell you with confidence that we are soon going to start work on four other waterways of Mahanadi, Brahmaputra, Buckingham Canal and in Kerala after getting them studied by international consultancies," he said.
Godavari, which flows in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, would be among the 101 rivers that would be developed as waterways, Gadkari said.
"After starting work on these five (waterways), (the bill on) development of 101 rivers as waterways would be passed in this Parliament session.
Cabinet has already approved this. I would like to assure you that Godavari waterway would also be there," he said.