In a major boost to India's inland waterways transport, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will receive a large container vessel travelled for the first time on inland waterways NW-1 Ganga at the newly developed Multi-modal Terminal on November 12. The Prime Minister will also dedicate the port to the nation on the occasion.
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari made the announcement via Twitter on Saturday.
https://t.co/v56iKbJtYX Sri @narendramodi ji to recieve the container vessel traveled for the first time on Inland waterways NW1 Ganga at Varanasi on 12th Nov at newly developed Multimodel Terminal and shall dedicate the terminal to nation. pic.twitter.com/80TyY7iaqL— Nitin Gadkari (@nitin_gadkari) November 3, 2018
"Completed in record time. Shall also dedicate to nation Babatpur Airport to Varanasi National Highway and Varanasi Ring Road", he added.
Currently, India has about 14,500 km of navigable waterways which comprise of rivers, canals, backwaters, and creeks..
The container vessel belonging to PepsiCo, named MV Rabindranath Tagore is transporting as many as 16 containers, which is equivalent to 16 truckloads of food and snacks through the Ganga river. The container vessel will reach Varanasi in the next 9 to 10 days.
It is for the first time after independence that a container vessel is being moved using an inland vessel.
"This should have been the biggest news of the week in India. For the first time since independence, a container is moving on inland vessel. PepsiCo is moving 16 containers from Kolkata to Varanasi on vessel MV RN Tagore, over river Ganga. Such a huge accomplishment!#SagarMala" he tweeted.
This should have been the biggest news of the week in India. For the first time since independence, a container is moving on inland vessel. PepsiCo is moving 16 containers from Kolkata to Varanasi on vessel MV RN Tagore, over river Ganga. Such a huge accomplishment!#SagarMala— Nitin Gadkari (@nitin_gadkari) November 3, 2018
During an interactive session on promotion and development of cruise tourism in India, Gadkari also announced that Rs 500 crore will be given to the Shipping Corporation of India under the SagarMala programme to purchase vessels.
Last year, Gadkari had announced that 14 Coastal Economic Zones have been planned under the SagarMala project, with two mega food processing parks planned at Kakinada and Satara at a cost of Rs 140 Crore. In addition to this, he had said that 111 waterways are being developed as National Waterways, which will reduce logistics costs, thus benefiting the food processing industry.
The development of Ganga and Brahmaputra rivers for transport will also make it easier to move local produce to Bangladesh, he had said.
The prime objective of the Sagarmala project is to promote port-led direct and indirect development and to provide infrastructure to transport goods to and from ports quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively.