Dredging work on National Waterways 44 in the Ichamati river in West Bengal has commenced to achieve the required navigational depth.
Continuing with efforts for developing and modernising National Waterways, the government is promoting inland water transport as a more cost-effective and environmentally friendly mode of transportation.
The Minister of State for Ports, Shipping and Waterways Shantanu Thakur inaugurated the dredging work at National Waterways 44 (Ichamati River) in West Bengal on Wednesday.
Thakur said, "Prime Minister Narendra Modi once said inland waterways are powering the growth of India’s economy."
He further said that now, under his leadership the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways is working towards development of National Waterways like never before.
The work for dredging from Tentulia to Kalanchi for 23.38 km is being commenced for achieving navigational depth of 1.5 m as per mandate.
A budget of Rs 3.77 crore is sanctioned for meeting dredging and other allied expenses upto March 2023 and new scheme shall be sanctioned for 2023-24 as per further requirement and higher capacity dredger shall be deployed after outcome of this initial dredging.
In first phase Taranipur bridge is under active consideration for construction on deposit work basis through government of West Bengal and funding of Rs 136 .20 crore under Sagarmala project of Ministry of Ports Shipping and Waterways.
Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) has also taken steps to replace existing temporary bamboo bridge for which Jadavpur University, Kolkata has been assigned the work for study/design, drawing and cost estimate for replacing temporary bamboo bridge at Swarupnagar.
For decongestion of traffic from Ghojadanga-Bhomra and Petrapole-Benapole integrated check post, joint technical committee comprising of members from India and Bangladesh has been formed to assess the feasibility study of Ichamati river for its navigability and inclusion in protocol on inland water transit and trade as new India-Bangladesh protocol route from Hemnagar-Kalanchi-Khedapara (170.38 km) .
The development of waterways in India is a continuous process involving both short-term and long-term planning and implementation. It plays a crucial role in reducing transportation costs, promoting trade, and easing congestion on roads and railways.
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