Prime Minister Modi inaugurates India’s first multi-modal terminal constructed on river Ganga in Varanasi

Prime Minister Modi inaugurates India’s first multi-modal terminal constructed on river Ganga in Varanasi.

November 14, 2018.

PM Modi inaugurated India’s first multi-modal terminal on the Ganga river on Monday in his parliamentary constituency here and received the country’s first container cargo transported from Kolkata on inland waterways. The PM was accompanied by Yogi Adityanath, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Nitin Gadkari, Union Transport, Highways, and Shipping Minister and Mahendra Nath Pandey, BJP state president who is also the MP of the neighboring Chandauli Lok Sabha constituency. The first consignment containing food and beverage had set sail from Kolkata in the last week of October.

It is the first of the 4 multi-modal terminals being constructed on the National Waterway-1 (river Ganga) as part of the World Bank-aided Jal Marg Vikas project of the Inland Waterways Authority of India. The total estimated cost of the project will be equally shared between the Government of India and the World Bank which is Rs 5,369.18 crore. Earlier, the prime minister was given a detailed presentation of the waterways and watched a short film on the viability of the waterways between Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh and Haldia in West Bengal, upon his arrival here.

The Centre’s Jal Marg Vikas Project aims at developing the stretch of the river between Varanasi and Haldia for navigation of large vessels weighing up to 1,500 tonnes to 2,000 tonnes, an official said in a statement. The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) is the project implementing agency. Its aim is to promote inland waterways as a cheap and environment-friendly source of transportation, especially for cargo movement.

The project entails construction of three multi-modal terminals (Varanasi, Sahibganj and Haldia), river information system (RIS), river training, two inter-modal terminals, assured depth dredging, integrated vessel repair and maintenance facility,  five roll-on-roll-off (Ro-Ro) terminal pairs, new navigation lock at Farakka in West Bengal, differential global positioning system (DGPS).

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