Allahabad-Haldia Ganga Waterways Projects

Allahabad-Haldia Ganga Waterways Projects
In the Budget Speech for 2014-15, it was announced that a project on the river Ganga called ‘Jal Marg Vikas’ (National Waterways-I) would be developed between Allahabad and Haldia to cover a distance of 1,620 kms, which would enable commercial navigation of at least 1,500 tonne vessels and that the project would be completed over a period of six years at an estimated cost of Rs.4,200 crore. The Project’s objective is to provide an environment friendly, fuel efficient and cost-effective alternative mode of transportation, especially for bulk goods, hazardous goods, captive cargo and over dimensional cargo.

Government has commissioned three expert studies to assess the interventions required to achieve greater clarity on the entire project and its impacts. These studies are (i) Detailed Feasibility Study on NW-1 and Detailed Engineering for its Ancillary Works; (ii) Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA), Environmental Mitigation Plan (EMP) and Resettlement Action Plan (RAP); and (iii) IWT Sector Development Strategy and Market Development Study. In addition, Inland Waterways Authority of India, which is the Implementing Agency of the project, has conducted comprehensive stakeholder meetings at Kolkata, Varanasi, Patna, Delhi and Farakka, wherein valuable feedback of environmentalists, industry, academics and the wider society was obtained.

The projects include construction of terminals, jetties, river training and conservancy works, modern automated information system, navigation aids, etc. The construction of the projects is expected to commence from March, 2016 and the last projects to be taken up may extend up to five years.

This information was given by Minster of State for Shipping, Shri Pon Radhakrishnan in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha.
Construction of Waterways
To promote Inland Water Transport (IWT) in the country, Union Government so far has declared following 05 inland waterways as National Waterways (NWs) :

i) Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hooghly river system (Allahabad-Haldia-1620 km) as NW-1.

ii) River Brahmaputra (Dhubri-Sadiya – 891 km) as NW-2.

iii) West Coast Canal (Kottapuram-Kollam) along with Udyogmandal and Champakara Canals – (205 km) as NW-3.

iv) Kakinada- Puducherry canals along with Godavari and Krishna rivers (1078 km) –as NW-4.

v) East Coast Canal integrated with Brahmani river and Mahanadi delta rivers (588 km) as NW-5.

Out of these five NWs, first three waterways have already been developed substantially with fairway of required depth & width, navigational aids & terminal facilities for loading/unloading of cargo & ingress/ egress of the passengers and cargo & passenger vessels are moving on these NWs. A World Bank aided project for capacity augmentation of NW-1 has been sanctioned and it is under implementation.

Development of remaining two NWs was delayed because after declaration of these waterways as NWs, on advise of the then Planning Commission, efforts were made to develop the commercial viable stretches of these two NWs through Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode. However, since this was not found feasible, now the development process through Gross Budgetary Support (GBS) has been initiated and a few projects are under implementation.

Simultaneously, studies to assess if some stretches of National Waterway - 4&5 can be developed in PPP mode is in advance stage.

For liaison with State Governments for acquisition of land for widening of channel, setting up of terminal facilities, dumping the dredged material etc. and also for monitoring of various developmental activities, Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI)’s offices have been opened at Chennai & Vijayawada on NW- 4 and at Bhubaneswar on NW- 5.

For declaration of 101 more inland waterways as national waterways, a Bill was introduced in the Budget Session of the Parliament in 2015. The Bill was referred to the Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism & Culture for examination. Based on the recommendations of the Committee and the State Governments, a note has been sent for declaring 106 more inland waterways as national waterways for consideration of the Cabinet. After obtaining the Cabinet approval, “Official Amendments” to the National Waterways Bill, 2015 will be moved.

This information was given by Minster of State for Shipping, Shri Pon Radhakrishnan in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha.

Foreign Trade from Ports
Approximately 90% of India’s trade by volume and 70% by value is transported by sea.

The total capacity of ports both Major Ports/Non-Major Ports was 1530.23 Million Tonnes as on 31.03.2015. Out of this capacity Major Ports capacity was 871.52 Million Tonnes and that of Non-Major Ports 658.71 Million Tonnes. Against this Capacity, total traffic handled during 2014-15 was 1052.51 Million Tonnes. Out of this Major Ports Share was 581.34 Million Tonnes and that of Non-Major Ports 470.87 Million Tonnes. As may be seen, the available capacity is adequate to handle the existing traffic.

Projects relating to construction of new berths, upgradation of existing berths, mechanization of berths, installation of state of art equipments & mechanization of cargo handling systems including the dredging projects to accommodate large vessels are undertaken at major ports to increase their capacity as also to bring them at par with international standards. Identification of such projects for capacity addition & modernization etc. is done by the ports keeping in view the trade demand of their respective hinterland on a continuous basis.

This information was given by Minster of State for Shipping, Shri Pon Radhakrishnan in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha.
Agreement with Egypt on Marine Transport
The Agreement on Maritime Transport between India and Egypt envisages cooperation between the two countries to develop their relationship in the field of international maritime transport on the principle of equality and mutual benefits through exchange of information on maritime affairs, technical assistance for development of maritime transport, encouraging cooperation between maritime shipping companies of the two countries, maritime safety, security and environment protection.

This information was given by Minster of State for Shipping, Shri Pon Radhakrishnan in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha.
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Conversion of Rivers into Waterways

Inland Water Transport mode is recognized as a cheaper, fuel efficient and environment friendly mode of transport for the bulk movement of cargo. As per RITES Report on Integrated National Transportation Grid Study, benefits of IWT mode are as under :

Cost Saving:

1 Liter of fuel moves, 24 tonne - km on road, 95 tonne-km on rail and 215 tonne-km on IWT.
Cost of developing waterways is much lower than rail and road

Environment Friendly :

Least fuel consumption per tonne – km
Less CO2 emission compared to other modes
Negligible land requirement
Safe mode for hazardous and over dimensional cargo.

A bill for declaration of 101 more waterways as national waterways was introduced in the Parliament on 05.05.2015 which was subsequently referred to  Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee for Transport, Tourism and Culture for examination. The Parliamentary Standing Committee submitted its report on 12.08.2015 to both the houses. Based on the recommendation of the Committee the revised note for Cabinet along with official amendments as approved by legislative Department has been submitted to the Cabinet Secretariat for consideration. The official amendments to the National Waterways Bill, 2015 are expected to be moved in the winter session of the Parliament. Details of cargo moved through IWT mode for the period from 2012-13 to 2015-16 (till July’ 15) are enclosed as Annex – 1.

CARGO MOVEMENT FOR National Waterways -1, 2 & 3, Goa and Mumbai Waterways 2012-13 to 2015-16
(in Tonnes)
2015-16 Upto July, 2015
National Waterway – 1
National Waterway – 2
National Waterway – 3

Total of National Waterways
THE GOA Waterways
Mumbai Waterways
(Dharamtar creek)
Grand Total

1.      These figures are collected by IWAI field offices from IWT operators.
2.      Average IWT distance of 50 km in Goa and 54 km in Mumbai Waterways considered
This information was given by Minster of State for Shipping, Shri Pon Radhakrishnan in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha.
Progress of Kollam Kottapuram Stretch of West Coast Canal

Kottapuram- Kollam stretch of West Coast canal (168 km) along with Champakara canal (14 km) and Udyogmandal canal (23 km) [total 205 km] has been declared as National Waterway-3 (NW-3) on February 1, 1993. The details of progress of NW-3 are as given below:

Navigable Channel:

Navigable channel of minimum 38m bottom width in wider sections& 32m bottom width in narrow sections with minimum 2m depth has been developed and maintained in entire NW-3 except a small portion of 3.25 km where width is 12 meter. This has been achieved by carrying out 38.00 lakh cum of dredging over 83.75 km out of 87 km lakh for widening. In the remaining 3.25 km, 1 km is in Kayamkulam area, where widening can be done once the fishing nets are removed by State Government and 2.25 km is in Chavara area for which the work for widening has been awarded on 18.11.2015. However, there is no restriction for movement of cargo vessels all along the National Waterway.

Aids for 24 hours Navigation:

The entire NW-3 in Kerala has been provided with navigation aids to facilitate 24 hours navigation.

Cargo handling terminals:

Cargo terminals have been set up at eight locations with safe berthing arrangement for inland vessels, storage go-downs, cargo handling equipments etc. These are; i)Kottapuram, ii) Aluva, iii) Maradu (Kochi), iv) Vaikkom, v) Cherthala (Thanneermukkom), vi) Thrikkunnapuzha, vii) Kayamkulam (Ayiramthengu) & viii) Kollam. Construction of 9th terminal at Alappuzha is under progress and 99% progress has been achieved. Land has been acquired at two more locations namely Kakkanad (CSEZ) and Chavara for setting up of terminal in next phase, depending on demand. In addition, for decongesting the Kochi city by providing an alternate transport route to International Container Transshipment Terminal (ICTT), a pair of Ro-Ro terminals at Willingdon Island and Bolghatty has been provided. The Ro-Ro operation has commenced from 23-02-2011.

A total expenditure of the order of Rs. 240 Cr has been incurred so far by IWAI for development of NW-3.

This information was given by Minster of State for Shipping, Shri Pon Radhakrishnan in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha.
Developing Lighthouses as Tourist Attraction

At present there is a plan to develop certain identified lighthouses as tourist attraction across the country on Public Private Partnership mode.  The list of lighthouses which have been identified in the first instance, to be developed as tourist attraction is as follows:

 ( Total – 78 Nos.)
30. Mannakodam
58. Kalingapatnam
1.  Mandvi       
31. Vizhinjam
59. Nagayalanka
2.  Pirotan Island N. Point
32. Thangesseri
3. Kalubhar
33. Kannur
60. Puri    
4.  Kachchigarh 
34. Alleppy
61.  Paradip
5.  Gopnath  
35.  Kadalur Point

62.   False Point
6.  Alang 
63.  Chandrabhaga
7.  Veraval
36. Kadamat Island 
64.  Gopalpur
8. Dwarka
37. Thinakara Island

9. Umergaon  
38.  Agathi Island  
65. Dariyapur

10. Kanai Creek
39.  Androth Island W. END  
66. Saugor Island
11. Piram
40. Kavaratti Island   
12. Savaibet
41. Suhelipar
67. North Point (Port Blair)
42. Minicoy

68. North Cinque Island

13. Uttan 
43. Chetlath
69. Port Cornowallis
14. Korlai Fort 
44. Kalpeni
70. Sir Huge Rose
15. Jaigarh   
45. Kiltan
71. Aves
16. Ratnagiri
72. East Island
17. Sao George
46. Manappad
73. Chidiya Tapu
18. Aguada
47. Kilakkarai 
74. Little Andaman
19. Devgad
48. Kodikkarai
75. Rutland
20. Tolkeswar

76. Keating Point
21. Vengular Rock (Adventure tourism)

49. Portonovo
77. South Sentinel
22. Kanhoji Angre
50. Pulicat
78. Narcondum
23.  Sunk rock
51.   Mahabalipuram

52.  Kanyakumari- Muttam

24. Bhatkal   

25. Suratkal
53. Pondicherry  

26. Kaup

27. Oyster Rock
54. Antervedi   

55. Sacramento

28. Chetwai
56. Vakalpudi   

29. Vypin (Cochin)   
57. Santapille  

                     There is no expenditure envisaged to be incurred by the Government as the project will be on PPP mode.  The general features that would be given priority are:
Water sports facilities, Hotels and resorts, Shopping complex, Food Courts, Public utilities, Museums, Observation deck etc..

This information was given by Minster of State for Shipping, Shri Pon Radhakrishnan in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha.
Inputs used in Ship Manufacturing and Repair Exempted from Customs and Central Excise Duties
Inputs used in ship manufacturing and repair have been exempted from Customs and Central Excise Duties with effect from the 24th of November , 2015. Prior to this exemption, while ships could be imported at almost negligible rates of Basic Customs Duty (BCD) and nil rates of Countervailing Duty (CVD), the inputs used in ship manufacturing and repair attracted normal rates of BCD and CVD. This put the Indian shipyards, who build ships for the domestic market, at a cost disadvantage. Correction of this inverted duty structure was therefore necessary.

With a view to counter the cost disadvantage to Indian shipyards and to promote indigenous shipbuilding industry as part of the ‘Make in India’ initiative, the Ministry of Shipping had taken up this issue with the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance. Ministry of Finance has now exempted Customs and Central Excise Duties on inputs utilized for the purpose of manufacture of ships vide General Exemption Notification Nos. 54/2015-Customs, 55/2015 – Customs, 44/2015-Central Excise and 45/2015-Central Excise, with effect from November 24, 2015.

The exemption will go a long way in creating a proactive environment for the growth of this strategic industry, which will not only generate considerable employment but also play a significant role in fostering economic growth and EXIM trade in the country.

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