March 20, 2023

Why in news

  • Chairman of Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) stated that plan will include developing waterways and jetties to improve navigable capacity of Indian rivers.
  • India has an extensive network of inland waterways in form of rivers, canals, backwaters and creeks that may supplement over-burdened railways and congested roadways.
    • To promote Inland Water Transport (IWT), 111 waterways have been declared as National Waterways (NWs) under National Waterways Act, 2016.
    • Of these, 13 NWs are operational.
  • Benefits of IWT: eco-friendly and cheaper (less fuel consumption per tonne-km), better connectivity to hinterland, require relatively less maintenance etc.
  • Challenges faced in IWT:
    • Decreased water flow due to industrial, agricultural and other uses,
    • inadequate water channel depth,
    • Excessive Siltation,
    • Low technology adaption etc.
  • Other initiatives taken
    • PANI (Portal for Asset & Navigation Information) provides detailed information on various waterways.
    • CAR-D (Cargo Data) Portal, a web based portal for all cargo and cruise movement data of NWs.
    • Ro-Ro/Ro-Pax Service Commenced in Various NWs.
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