World Bank clears $375-mn for waterways

World Bank
In a major booster to build waterway infrastructure, the Union government and the World Bank have recently signed a $375 million agreement for developing country's first modern inland waterway on the River Ganga between Varanasi and the seaport of Haldia. The project falls in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal and major districts under its ambit are Varanasi, Ghazipur, Ballia, Buxar, Chhapra, Vaishali, Patna, Begusarai, Khagaria, Munger, Bhagalpur, Sahibganj, Murshidabad, Pakur, Hoogly, and Kolkata. The route is one of the country’s most densely populated areas, and a sizeable 40% of the domestically traded goods either originate from this resource-rich region or are destined for its markets. The project in question is stretching across 1,360 km and will bring cargo logistics and transportation to populous regions. The project would facilitate the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) to put in place infrastructure and navigation services needed to develop the waterway - known as National Waterway 1 - as an efficient logistics artery for northern India, the World Bank said in a statement, adding that the capacity augmentation of National Waterway 1 (Jal Marg Vikas) Project will help save more than 150,000 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in greenhouse gas emissions annually by moving cargo away from fossil fuel-consuming road and rail networks.

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