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Shri Nitin Gadkari inaugurates the first River Information System of India



Shri Nitin Gadkari inaugurates the first River Information System of India 
Union Minister of Shipping, Road Transport and Highways Shri Nitin Gadkari inaugurated the River Information System (RIS) System at a function in New Delhi today. The first of its kind in India, the new system will facilitate safe and accurate navigation on National Waterway – 1 on the Ganges River. RIS is being implemented under the overall responsibility of Inland Waterway Authority of India, a statutory body administered by the Ministry of Shipping. 


Speaking on the occasion Shri Gadkari said while it remains a challenge how to develop the waterways of the country, the River Information System is a major step in realizing the dream of waterways. He said that the Phase- II of the System from Farakka to Patna and Phase-III from Patna to Varanasi will also be implemented on priority. 


River Information Services (RIS) are combination of modern tracking equipment related hardware and software designed to optimize traffic and transport processes in inland navigation. The system enhances swift electronic data transfer between mobile vessels and shore (Base stations) through advance and real-time exchange of information. RIS aims to streamline the exchange of information between waterway operators and users. This would facilitate:-

• Enhancement of inland navigation safety in ports and rivers.

• Better use of the inland waterways

• Environmental protection

RIS enables achievement of safe and efficient inland water transport by avoiding the following risks:-

i) Ship- to - Ship collisions

ii) Ship - Bridge collisions

iii) Groundings

Installation of an efficient and effective River Information Service (RIS) system on the Sagar- Farakka stretch of NW-1 is akin to the systems under operation in countries like the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, China & USA. In this project the vessels are being monitored by installing 7 remote (base station site) at the Haldia, Garden Reach (GR) Jetty, Tribeni, Swaroopganj, Kumarpur, Ballia and Farakka at a cost of Rs. 26.23 crores. There would be two control centers at Farakka and GR Jetty. Both the control stations will monitor the vessels plying in this river stretch via Automatic Identification System (AIS) and will communicate with Vessels via VHF. Under this project, there are 30 vessels which are also equipped with Inland AIS system, short range radar and VHF. The AIS data and voice communication of the vessel will be monitored and recorded at the control stations (Farakka and GR Jetty) and can be retrieved/ replayed whenever needed. The vessels can be guided from the control station via VHF and operator can provide the necessary instruction to the vessel.

Trained operators would monitor the activities round the clock and provide the necessary instructions and guidance to the vessel for safe navigation.

The RIS system is subsequently being extended upto Varanasi in two more phases. In Phase-II, the stretch from Farakka to Patna (410 Km.) will be covered by establishment of six base and one control stations at an estimated cost of Rs. 15.89 crore and the Phase-III will cover from Patna to Varanasi (356 Km.) with 4 base and one control stations at an estimated cost of Rs. 14.49 crores. 

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Cabinet approves transfer of land from Farakka Barrage Project to Inland Waterways Authority of India for construction of a new navigational lock parallel to the existing navigational lock at Farakka 
The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval to transfer of 14.86 hectares of land from Farakka Barrage Project under the Ministry of Water Resources to Inland Waterways Authority of India under the Ministry of Shipping for construction of a new navigational lock parallel to the existing navigational lock at Farakka.

The details are as follows:-

i. Transfer of 14.86 hectares of land from Farakka Barrage Project (FBP), Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation (MoWR, RD & GR) to Ministry of Shipping for construction of the new navigational lock at Farakka.

ii. The cost of the land is Rs.2,35,80,160/- (Rupees two crore, thirty five lakh, eighty thousand, one hundred sixty only) approximately. Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) will bear this cost.

iii. Construction of the navigational lock is a subproject of Jal Marg Vikas Project. The new lock will ensure smooth and seamless movement of vessels on NW-1.

The advantage of construction of new navigation lock at Farakka are given below:-

a) The existing lock is unable to handle the number of vessels currently passing through it efficiently and effectively. At present, considerable time is taken for the vessels to pass the existing navigational lock. Therefore, need for construction of an additional lock to facilitate easy passage of vessels through the lock, given the anticipated increase in the number of vessels and volume of cargo that are expected to pass through it in future after implementation of the Jal Marg Vikas Project;

b) The process of modernization/up-gradation/repair of the existing navigational lock is time consuming and will put it out of operation during the period of repair. Construction of the new navigational lock therefore is an inescapable option for uninterrupted movement of vessels.

c) IWAI, a statutory body under the Ministry of Shipping, is the nodal authority responsible for regulation and development of inland waterways for the purposes of shipping and navigation. It is, therefore, within its mandate to build, maintain, operate and manage the navigational locks.

The works shall be planned/executed in such a manner that the existing arrangements about sharing of Ganga water at Farakka, as per Ganga Water Treaty-1996 between India and Bangladesh, are not affected.

Ministry of Shipping would work out detailed modalities for construction of new navigational lock as well as modernization of the existing navigational lock at Farakka in consultation with Mo WR, RD & GR/FBP in a phased manner to ensure seamless navigation on NW-1.

Background: 

i. IWAI is implementing Jal Marg Vikas Project for capacity augmentation of navigation on National Waterway - 1 on Allahabad - Haldia stretch of Ganga - Bhagarathi Hooghly River System with technical and investment support of the World Bank.

ii. A navigational Lock is already in operation at Farakka under the control of Farakka Barrage Project (FBP) since 1987. This lock needs modernization.

iii. The first Scooping Mission of World Bank (August 2014) had recommended maintenance and up-gradation works at the existing navigational lock, along with construction of a new lock. The objectives of Jal Marg Vikas Project can be fully achieved if the navigation upstream of the Farakka navigational lock is synchronized to match that downstream of the navigational lock. This is possible only if the second navigational lock is in position at Farakka. 


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