Tap the potential

The development of inland waterways got major boost on Monday with the inauguration of inland port in Varanasi on Ganga River by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The project is part of the centre’s push to develop the inland waterways. PM along with Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, received India’s first container vessel that sailed from Kolkata on the inland waterway on October 30, carrying cargo belonging to food and beverage giant PepsiCo India. This is the first of the four multi-modal terminals being constructed on the River Ganga dubbed the National Waterway-1 as part of the World Bank-aided Jal Marg Vikas project of the Inland Waterways Authority of India.
The stretch of Ganga River between Haldia (West Bengal) and Varanasi is being targeted to be developed as commercial hub. The development of inland waterways using extensive river networks has huge potential. Besides cargo, these routes can be used for transportation of passengers. It will offer new mode of transportation to the citizens apart from the existing ones like rail, road and air. Also it will bring down cost of travelling. The government of Arunachal should take advantage of centre’s push to develop inland waterways in the country. In Arunachal Pradesh the inland waterways project can be implemented in Rivers like Lohit, Siang, Pare, Kameng, Subansiri etc. Most of these rivers go onto to join Brahmaputra in Assam to become the part of this mighty river. Therefore these rivers offer the opportunity to start cargo as well as passenger transportation service. State govt should tap the potential and take help of the Inland Waterways Authority of India.