Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated India's first multi-modal terminal on the river Ganga, reports the Economic Times. The Terminus which is located in the Prime Minister’s parliamentary constituency received the first-ever container cargo transported using inland waterways from Kolkata.
Alongside the Prime Minister, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Union Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari and BJP state president and the MP of the neighbouring Chandauli constituency, Mahendra Nath Pandey, were also present as the first consignment which contained food and beverages sailed all the way from Kolkata.
The modal terminal in Varanasi is only the first out of four of the World Bank-aided Jal Marg Vikas projects of the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI). The other three terminals are under construction on the National Waterway-1 (River Ganga). The World Bank and Government of India will be equally sharing the costs of the project, which is estimated to be Rs 5,369.18 crore.
Upon the Prime Minister’s arrival, there was a detailed presentation of the waterways and a screening of a short film on the lifeblood of the waterways between Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi and West Bengal’s Haldia.
The Jal Marg Vikas Project of the Centre aims at developing the stretch of river between the two cities for navigation of large vessels weighing between 1,500 tonnes and 2,000 tonnes, an official statement said.
The objective of the project is promoting inland waterways as inexpensive and eco-friendly transportation, especially for the movement of cargo. IWAI will implement the plan.
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