The World Bank will fund inland water development projects under Jal
Vikas Marg mostly in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar on the river Ganga to the tune of
375 million US dollars. An agreement to this effect was signed between the Bank
and the Inland Waterways Authority of India for a loan agreement to this
effect. The department of Economic affairs of the finance ministry has signed
the agreement on February 2 on behalf of the Indian government.
The signing of the
Agreement follows the approval of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs,
for the implementation of the US $ 800 million Jal Marg Vikas Marg (JMVP)
capacity augmentation of navigation on National Waterway-1(River Ganga) from
Varanasi to Haldia. Out of the remaining amount, US $ 380 million is to be
sourced through the Government of India counterpart funds from budgetary
allocation and proceeds from the bond issue. Another US $ 45 million will come
from private sector participation under the PPP mode.
The JMVP, which is
expected to be completed by March, 2023, is being implemented with the
financial and technical support of the World Bank. The project will enable
commercial navigation of vessels with the capacity of 1500-2,000 tons on NW-I.
The development and
operations of the National Waterway-1 project will lead to direct employment
generation to the tune of 46,000 and indirect employment of 84,000 in the
states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal. The project includes
development of fairway, Multi-Modal Terminals at Varanasi, Haldia and
Sahibganj, strengthening the river navigation system, conservancy works, modern
River Information System (RIS), Digital Global Positioning System (DGPS), night
navigation facilities, modern methods of channel marking, construction of a new
state-of-the-art navigational lock at Farakka etc.
The JMVP will result
in an environment-friendly, fuel-efficient and cost-effective alternative mode
of transportation, especially for bulk goods, hazardous goods and over-dimensional
cargo. The National Waterway-1 along with proposed Eastern Dedicated Freight
Corridor and National Highway-2, constitutes the Eastern Transport Corridor of
India connecting the National Capital Region (NCR) with the eastern and
north-eastern states and will function as a link to Bangladesh, Myanmar,
Thailand, Nepal and other east and south-east Asian countries through the
Kolkata Port and Indo- Bangladesh Protocol Route.
Along with the
completion of Ludhiana Kolkata dedicated freight corridor, the inland water
development projects will become a game changer for development of Uttar
Pradesh and Bihar.