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World Bank to fund inland waterways projects in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar to the tune 375 million US Dollars

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.


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