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Shipping ministry seeks 25 per cent increase in budget for expanding inland waterways projects/

In the budget to be presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on 1 February 2019 before the general elections, Shipping Ministry seeks a 25 percent increase in allocation to expand Inland Waterways Projects, according to the local media.

The increased funds will be to the tune of Rs 2, 350 crores.

 “A major share of the allocation would be spent on the inland waterways programme as the government aims to project waterways as a cleaner and efficient mode of transportation,” a senior bureaucrat with the Ministry was quoted as saying.

Largely neglected for decades India’s infrastructure and logistics planning now has got its due attention from the National Democratic Alliance with its landmark Act, National Waterways Act, 2016. 

More than one hundred national waterways have been recognized by the government.

In 2017, the Union Cabinet also approved the proposal to allocate 2.5 per cent of the Central Road Fund for the development and maintenance of inland waterways.

The emphasis on these waterways is justified by the fact that they are more cost-effective, environment-friendly and logistically efficient when compared to roads and railways. Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari has always stressed the advantages of Inland Waterways.

These inland waterways will also provide synergies with the Shipping Ministry’s Rs. 8.5 trillion Sagarmala project which plans to promote the port-led development of the nation.

 

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