NEW DELHI: In a major boost to inland waterways project, the World Bank has approved a $375 million loan for capacity augmentation of National Waterway-1 on River Ganga under Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP) connecting Haldia and Varanasi.
The government is developing NW-1 to enable commercial navigation of vessels with capacity of 1500-2,000 DWT. Under the project, there are going to be three multi-modal terminals--one each at Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh), Sahibganj (Jharkhand), and Haldia (West Bengal).
In addition, the project will enable the Centre setting up of River Information Service System on NW -1 for the first time in India. River Information System (RIS) are equipment, hardware and software information technology (IT) related services designed to optimize traffic and transport processes in inland navigation.
The Rail and Road corridors in this region are heavily saturated. Hence, the development of NW-1 would provide an alternative, viable, economical, efficient and eco-friendly mode of transport. The waterway will act as a catalyst in the socio-economic development of the regions by creating new business and employment opportunities.