River Information System

River Information System
The Government has launched a River Information System (RIS)  between Haldia and Farakka stretch of the National Waterway-1 (NW-1) on 06.01.2016. 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, regulators and users. This would facilitate:-

i.       Inland navigation safety.
ii.      Improvement in efficiency of inland navigation.
iii.    Dissemination of information to vessels on the status of fairways.
iv.    Provision of virtual aids to navigation and guidance to the vessels.
v.       Planning of voyages.
Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) has taken up the project initially in NW-1 that is being implemented in three phases as shown below:
River stretch
Phase -I:
Phase -II:
Phase -III:
Haldia –Farakka
Cost of Project including civil works and Operation and Maintenance for four years after commissioning
Rs. 26.23 cr.
Rs. 15.89 cr.
Rs.14.49 cr.
Distance in the river stretch
545 Km
410  Km
356  Km
Under implementation
Tender process completed.

 The system on the entire stretch is likely to be operational by November 2016.
RIS in NW-1 is expected to be beneficial to areas in the following States:
1.      Phase-I: West Bengal & Jharkhand
2.      Phase-II: Jharkhand & Bihar
3.      Phase-III: Bihar & Uttar Pradesh  

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

Cochin Port : Supportive Infrastructure to Attract International Trans-Shipment
The Cochin Port which is located around 50 nautical miles from the international shipping routes between (i) Europe and Far East /Australia and (ii) Gulf and Far East/Australia, has the potential to attract international trans-shipment which can trigger off maritime related business opportunities. The Cochin Port has developed the International Container Trans-shipment Terminal (ICTT) at Vallarpadam in order to tap the opportunities. This is a Public Private Partnership (PPP) venture with Dubai Port World (DPW) as the private partner. The first phase of the Terminal with 600 m of berth length became operational on 11.02.2011.

In order to make the Terminal successful, the Government has created supportive infrastructure;

(i) A 17.2 km 4 lane road for container trucks to reach the terminal from the NH 47, and NH 17 without getting into the city roads.

(ii) A 8.6 km long railway link line connecting the terminal to the national grid.

(iii) The Govt. has also supported the capital dredging of the terminal to create 14.5 m draft.

(iv) International Container Transshipment Terminal (ICTT) at Vallarpadam

(v) LNG Port and Terminal at Puthuvypeen:
The construction of LNG Port and Terminal at an estimated cost of Rs. 4150cr with a capacity of 5MMTPA was approved by CCEA and the project was awarded to M/s Petronet LNG Ltd in 2009. The Gas pipe line net work being implemented by GAIL is held up due to issues related to land acquisition. Therefore, the terminal is working at about 7% of its capacity. Measures are being taken by Government of Kerala for resolving issues related to pipeline laying work.

(vi) Multi-User Liquid Terminal (MULT) at Puthuvypeen :
The proposal is for development of MULT on DBFOT basis at an estimated cost of Rs. 240Cr. and an estimated capacity of 4.52 MMTPA . The project would be completed by 15.5.2017.

This information was given by Minister of State for Shipping, Shri Pon. Radhakrishnan in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha today.
Development of Inland Waterways
Five waterways in India have been declared as National Waterways (NWs) so far. These include:

           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.

Of these,  NW-1, 2 & 3 are operational in certain stretches and vessels are moving on them. They have developed  fairway of targeted depth and width, terminals with cargo handling facilities and navigational aids.

NW- 4 & 5 are yet to be made operational. Various studies for development of these waterways are underway. Dredging of fairway and construction of temporary terminal has started recently in NW- 5.  

The draft National Perspective Plan (NPP), prepared under the Sagarmala Programme, proposes priority development of National Waterways-1, 2, 4 and 5 to enhance port connectivity to the hinterland and to enable faster and cheaper movement of key cargo types such as coal, iron ore, food grains etc.

To develop Inland Water Transport in the country, The National Waterways Bill, 2015, for declaration of 106 additional waterways as National Waterways has been passed by the Lok Sabha during Winter Session, 2015.   The process for preparation of Techno- Economic Feasibility Studies/ Detailed Project Reports for identified new waterways has been initiated.  The extent and scope for developing these waterways will be known after completion of above studies. To develop National Waterways a sum of Rs.284.52crore was provided in 2015-16 (Revised Estimates) and Rs.350 crores has been allocated in 2016 -17
(Budget Estimates).

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

Development of National Waterway-1 under Jal Marg Vikas Project
The Government is developing National Waterway-1 (NW-1) under the Jal Marg Vikas Project, with assistance from the World Bank. NW-1 refers to 1620 km Haldia-Allahabad stretch of River Ganga. The project would be completed over a period of six years at an estimated cost of Rs. 4,200 crore. Phase-I of the project covers the Haldia-Varanasi stretch. The project includes development of fairway, multi-modal terminals, strengthening of open river navigation technique, conservancy works, modern River Information System (RIS), Digital Global Positioning System (DGPS), night navigation facilities, modern methods of channel marking, construction of a new navigational lock at Farakka etc.

Multimodal Terminals with rail and road connectivity are to be constructed at Varanasi, Haldia and Sahibganj as detailed below:-

Varanasi: Phase-I (A) of the project is being implemented on 5.586 hectares of land at Ram Nagar, Varanasi, mainly for offshore works of the terminal. The tender process for Phase 1(A) has been completed and work has been awarded at a cost of Rs.169 crore.

Haldia: The estimated cost of construction of Phase-I of the terminal is Rs. 465 crore. 61 acres of land has been taken on 30 years’ lease from the Haldia Dock Complex for construction of the terminal. The process for preparation of detailed project report and tender documents is underway.

Sahibganj: The requirement of land for the main terminal, rail and road connectivity, resettlement and rehabilitation of 235 households has been assessed at 241.63 acres for which land acquisition proceedings are in progress. The process for award of work for the construction of Phase-I at a cost of Rs. 292.10 crore is in progress.

This information was given by Minister of State for Shipping, Shri Pon. Radhakrishnan in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha today.
Bio-Metric Document of Seafarers
The Government has approved the ratification of an international convention on bio-metric based documents to keep track of seafarers to ward-off potential breach of security and possible terror attack through sea routes. The Government has approved on 10.06.2015 the ratification of International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention No. 185 on the Seafarers Identity Document (SID).The formal instrument of ratification of this Convention has been deposited with the Director General of International Labour Organisation (ILO) for registration on 09.10.2015 by Ministry of External Affairs. This Convention shall come into force after six months from the date on which its ratification is registered.

The biometric based seafarer’s identity document will be developed, mainly, to ensure a security system to ward off the potential risk of breach of security and possible terrorist attacks. India’s ratification of this Convention will benefit Indian seafarers, who may otherwise find a threat to their job opportunities, in the near future. Around 1.8 lakh seafarers will benefit from the ratification of this Convention.

The proposed SID has provisions for bar coding of the biometrics based identity of seafarers and a centralized data base maintained in the issuing country, which can be accessed globally through an inter-operable and standard biometric template. Indian seafarer holding SID will be able to have unrestrictive movement in foreign shores during leave, get recognition as identified seafarers in the Global market and will have easy access to better job opportunities in Global maritime sector.

This information was given by Minister of State for Shipping, Shri Pon. Radhakrishnan in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha today.
Using Ships to move Cars across Domestic Markets
A Chennai based motor company is using ships to move its cars across domestic markets saving on costs and reducing carbon foot-print. M/s Hyundai Motor India Ltd. transported 800 cars to Pipavav from Chennai Port through the maiden Coastal RoRo voyage m.v. IDM SYMEX on 05.02.2016. The vessel reached Pipavav in record time on 10.02.2016.

A number of meetings and interactions have been held between the port officials of Chennai Port Trust/Kamarajar Port Limited and the Auto Original Equipment Manufactures(OEMs) &RoRo Vessel operators on the transportation of automobile cargo through coastal RoRo Vessels. In order to attract more (OEMs), Ports are giving concessions/incentives on wharfage for coastal car movements/RoRo coastal movements.

This information was given by Minister of State for Shipping, Shri Pon. Radhakrishnan in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha today.
Coastal Tourism
The Government proposes to develop cruise and coastal tourism which is one of the growing areas of travel in the country. The Government has taken the following steps in this regard:

(i) Foreign flag vessels carrying passengers have been allowed to call at Indian ports for a period of 10 years with effect from 6th February, 2009 without obtaining a licence from Director General of Shipping.

(ii) The Ministry of Tourism extends Central Financial Assistance to State Governments/Union Territory Administrations/Central agencies for the development of tourism infrastructure including infrastructure related to development of Cruise Tourism under relevant scheme guidelines subject to availability of funds. The details of projects sanctioned during the last five years for development of cruise tourism infrastructure include development of Cruise Passenger Facilitation Centre at Cochin Port, development of dedicated cruise berthing facilities at Cochin Port, Cruise Passenger Facilitation Centre in the existing Passenger Terminal at Chennai Port and Cruise Terminal Building at Mormugao Port Trust.

(iii) Ministry of Tourism has launched a Swadesh Darshan Scheme for Integrated Development of Tourist Circuits around Specific Themes. Coastal Circuit has been identified as one of the themes. The projects sanctioned under the Coastal Circuit are Kakinada– Hope Island– Konaseema in Andhra Pradesh in the year 2014-15, Beach Circuit – Udaipur – Digha – Shankarpur – Tajpur – Mandarmani – Fraserganj – Bakkhlai–Henry Island in West Bengal, Sri PottiSriramalu Nellore in Andhra Pradesh and Union Territory of Puducherry in the year 2015-16.

The Ministry of Shipping proposes to develop tourism at 78 lighthouses on Public Private Partnership mode. The development of lighthouse is likely to be completed by 2019.

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

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