News Brief

Modi Government's Push For Inland Waterways Results In 700 Per Cent Surge In Cargo Movement, Here's What Region-Wise Data Says

Bhuvan Krishna

Feb 07, 2024, 05:39 PM | Updated 05:38 PM IST

Representative Image (pic via twitter @shipmin_india)
Representative Image (pic via twitter @shipmin_india)

The government's efforts to encourage cargo movement via inland waterways, including rivers and creeks, have led to a remarkable 700 per cent surge in the transportation of goods, making it the most environmentally friendly mode of transportation over the past decade as per a report by Times of India.

Data indicates that freight volume transported through waterways has soared from 18 million tonnes (MT) in 2013-14 to 126 MT in 2022-23.

In the current fiscal year, inland waterways have already transported 100 MT of cargo by December 2023.

An official expressed confidence that cargo transportation by March is poised to surpass the previous year's total, potentially setting a new record.

The government has implemented various measures, including offering incentives, in recent years to promote waterways as the preferred means of transporting goods.

In a response to Lok Sabha last week, Shipping and Waterways Minister Sarbananda Sonowal revealed that cargo transport through the 12 national waterways reached 32.4 MT in 2022-23, a significant increase from 6.9 MT in 2013-14.

By December, these waterways had already transported 22.1 MT of freight. Notably, NW-1, covering the Haldia-Allahabad stretch of the Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hooghly river system, transported 9.6 MT of cargo during the current fiscal year.

Data further indicates a substantial rise in cargo movement through national waterways in Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Goa. In Maharashtra, waterway cargo transport surged by six times, reaching 63.1 MT in 2022-23 from 10.2 MT in 2013-14, with 52.4 MT already transported by December in the current fiscal year.

Similarly, in Gujarat, cargo movement increased to 27.7 MT in 2022-23 compared to 11.5 MT in 2017-18, with nearly 23.5 MT of freight transported through the Narmada and Tapi waterways by December.

To bolster the promotion of inland waterways as an additional mode of transportation, the Ministry of Shipping and Waterways has granted a waiver of waterway user charges for an initial period of three years.

Bhuvan Krishna is Staff Writer at Swarajya.

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