New Delhi : National Waterway-1 (NW-1) (Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hooghly river system from Allahabad to Haldia), NW-2 (River Brahmaputra from Dhubri to Sadiya), NW-3 (West Coast Canal from Kottapuram to Kollam along with Udyogmandal and Champakara Canals) have already been developed with fairway, navigational aids, jetties and terminals with mechanized equipment handling facilities for loading and unloading of cargo. These waterways are operational and vessels are plying on these National Waterways. In addition, NW-10 (river Amba), NW-68 (river Mandovi), NW-73 (river Narmada), NW-83 (Rajpuri Creek), NW-85 (Revadanda Creek – Kundalika River System), NW-91 (Shastri river–Jaigad creek system), NW-97 (Sunderbans Waterways), NW-100 (river Tapi) and NW-111 (river Zuari) are also operational.
The navigability of the waterway is monitored through regular hydrographic surveys and channel inspection by Regional Directorates supported by Sub-Regional Offices located along the NWs. Fortnightly hydrographic surveys are conducted to determine the available depth and possible shoal formations in the channels to determine safe navigability throughout the year. A constant vigil is kept on the river regime behavior and accordingly appropriate river conservancy measures are taken to ensure fairways for safe movement of vessels.
Based on the observation during channel inspection and hydrographic surveys, River Notices are issued and placed on Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) website with details of Least Available Depth (LAD), clearances at bridge structures etc. along with any specific information to be conveyed to shippers to assist them for safe transportation of cargo on the National Waterways.
River Information System (RIS) which aims to streamline the exchange of information between waterway operators and users to optimize traffic and transport processes in inland navigation, has been commissioned on NW-1 (river Ganga) which is operational between Haldia–Farakka (Ph-I) and Farakka – Patna (Ph-II) stretches of the waterway.
The following projects were approved by IWAI for development of Inland Navigation on NW-3 in the state of Kerala:
(i) The construction/ modification of existing navigational lock at Thrikunnapuzha in NW-3 has been approved at a cost of Rs. 38 crore and entrusted the work to Irrigation Dept., Govt. of Kerala. An amount of Rs. 33 crore has already been released to Inland Navigational Directorate of Kerala towards executing the works on deposit basis. The physical progress of work is about 45%.
(ii) The construction of road over bridge across NW-3 at Kovilthottam near Chavara has been approved at a cost of Rs. 5.75 crore by cost sharing basis (50:50) between IWAI and Kerala Minerals and Metals Ltd. (KMML), Chavara (under Govt. of Kerala). The work has been entrusted to Harbour Engineering Dept., Govt. of Kerala and 50% share of IWAI i.e., Rs. 1.38 crore has already been deposited with Govt. of Kerala.
The stretch of Kollam to Kottapuram of West Coast Canal and Champakara canal & Udyogamandal Canals (205 km) in Kerala was declared as National Waterway (NW-3) in 1993. It has been further extended by 165 km in the North from Kottpuram to Kozhikode in April, 2016 by the National Waterways Act, 2016. Development of waterways for the stretch of Kollam to Kottapuram of West Coast Canal and Champakara canal & Udyogamandal Canals has been completed except for 1.20 km between Edappallikotta & Kollam and is being maintained with a channel of 2 m Least Available Depth and 32/ 38 m bottom width. The balanced capital dredging/ widening along with its allied activities in the stretch Edappallikotta & Kollam at an estimated cost of Rs. 6.75 crore has been sanctioned. NW-3 is operational with 24 hours navigational facilities, 9 permanent intermodal terminals with storage facilities and mechanized equipment for loading/ unloading of cargo. Annual fairway maintenance activities between Kottapuram – Kollam along with Champakara & Udyogmandal Canal sanctioned at a cost of Rs. 7.42 crore for FY 2021-22. Operations and Maintenance (O & M) of terminals on NW-3 sanctioned at a cost of Rs. 2.28 crore for FY 2021-22. O & M vessels on NW-3 sanctioned at a cost of Rs. 1.85 crore during FY 2021-22. The developmental activities on NW-8 & NW-9 has also been taken up in phased manner to promote cargo and tourism in Kerala.
IWAI is making all efforts to complete the ongoing developmental projects in a time bound manner.
This information was given by Union Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal in a written reply in Lok Sabha today.