Inland Water Transport (IWT) in the country – 111 waterways (including 5 existing and 106 new) spread over 24 states

Howrah Bridge - An Evening on Ganga 2
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Azadi Ka Amrit Mahoutsav

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By PIB Delhi

To promote Inland Water Transport (IWT) in the country, 111 waterways (including 5 existing and 106 new) spread over 24 states have been declared as National Waterways under the National Waterways Act, 2016. Based on the outcome of techno-economic feasibility and Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) of the NWs, 26 NWs have been found viable for cargo/passenger movement as detailed at Annex.-1.

To promote inland waterways as a supplementary, eco-friendly and cheaper mode of transport, waterway usage charges levied by the IWAI on vessels moving on National Waterways have been waived in July 2020, initially for a period of three years.

In addition to pre-2016 existing 5 NWs, development of 9 new NWs for promotion of inland shipping have been taken up as detailed at Annex.-2.




Sl. NoNWDetails of WaterwaysLength (Km)STATES
1NW 1Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hooghly River System (Haldia – Allahabad)1620Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand & West Bengal
2NW 2Brahmaputra River (Dhubri – Sadiya)891Assam
3NW 16Barak River (Lakhipur -Tuker Gram)121Assam
4NW 3West Coast Canal (Kottapuram – Kollam), Champakara and Udyogmandal Canals205Kerala
5NW 4Krishna River (Vijayawada – Muktyala)82Andhra Pradesh
6NW 5Dhamra-Paradip via Mangalagadi to Pankopal233Odisha
7NW 8Alappuzha- Changanassery Canal29Kerala
8NW 9Alappuzha – Kottayam – Athirampuzha Canal40Kerala (Alternate route: 11.5km)
9NW 27Cumberjua River (Cortalim-Ferry to Sao MartiasVidhanParisad)17Goa
10NW 68Mandovi River (Usgoan bridge to Arabian Sea)41Goa
11NW 86Rupnarayan River (Pratap Pur to Geonkhali)72West Bengal
12NW 97Sunderbans Waterway (Namkhana to AtharaBanki Khal)172West Bengal
13NW 111Zuari River (Sanvorden bridge to Marmugao Port)50Goa
14NW 40Ghagra River (Faizabad to ManjhiGhat)345Bihar & U.P.
15NW 10Amba River (Arabian Sea, Dharamtaar Creek to Nagothane ST Stand)45Maharashtra
16NW 44Ichamati River (Bridge at Gobra to Bansjhari near Bangladesh Border)63West Bengal
17NW 52Kali River (Kodasalli Dam to Sadashivgad Bridge, Arabian Sea)53Karnataka
18NW 57Kopili River (Banthai Gaon Tinali Bus Stop to Chandrapur No.2 confluence with Brahmaputra)50Assam
19NW 25Chapora River (Bridge near Maneri village to Morjim, Arabian Sea)25Goa
20NW 37Gandak River (Bhaisalotal Barrage to Hazipur)296Bihar & U.P.
21NW 28Dabhol Creek Vasisti River (Arabian Sea at Dabhol to Bridge at Pedhe)45Maharashtra
22NW 73Narmada River (Pandhariya to Gulf of Khambhat)226Maharashtra & Gujarat
23NW 85Revadanda Creek – Kundalika River System (Arabian Sea at Revadanda to Bridge near Roha Nagar)31Maharashtra
24NW 94Sone River (Sone Barrage, Dehri to Confluence with the Ganga)141Bihar
25NW 100Tapi River (Hatnur Dam to Gulf of Khambhat)436Maharashtra & Gujarat
26NW 31Dhansiri River (Morongi T.E. village Bridge to Numaligarh)110Assam


The details of projects initiated on the 09 new national waterways:

Sl. NoNWDetails of Waterways/StatesLength (Km)Projects started
1NW 16Barak River (Lakhipur -Tuker Gram) in Assam121Development of NW 16 and IBP route at a cost of Rs 145 crore during 2020-21 to 2024-25 was approved by SFC. Declared as National Waterway-16 (NW-16), Barak River connects Silchar, Karimganj and Badarpur in Cacher valley of Assam through road/waterway with Haldia and Kolkata ports through Indo-Bangladesh Protocol (IBP) Route. There are 10 activities as approved by SFC for NW-16 & IBP route. Out of these 10 activities, 03 are of permanent nature viz, (1) Construction of Terminal at Sonamura on Gumti river, (2) Construction of terminal at Maia on Ganga River and (3) Upgradation of Badarpur and Karimganj terminals, which are in consideration. The remaining 07 activities are of recurring nature viz., (1) Fairway development (2) O&M of navigational aids (3) Consultancy training (4) cargo promotion, and (5) amenities at Ports of Call etc. These activities are carried out on annual maintenance basis under implementation at 2.55% progress till October 2022.
2NW 8Alappuzha- Changanassery Canal in Kerala29Development proposed as per DPR recommendations. 24 hours navigational aids (15 nos.) provided at critical locations and being maintained.
3NW 9Alappuzha – Kottayam – Athirampuzha Canal in Kerala40Development of the waterway at an estimated cost of INR 1.60 crore has commenced. Night navigation facilities has been installed. Waterway is already operational.
4NW 27Cumberjua River (Cortalim-Ferry to Sao MartiasVidhanParisad) in Goa17NWs of Goa are operational under a Tripartite MoU with Govt. of Goa, Marmugao Port Authority & IWAI. Development of NWs in Goa at an estimated cost of INR 22.65 crore has commenced. Work for installation of 04 nos. floating Jetties amounting to Rs.11.33 crores on river Mandovi and river Chapora taken up. In addition a fund of Rs 6.84 Crore has been released to Mormugao Port Authority on 02.04.2022 for induction of navigational Aids.
5NW 68Mandovi River (Usgoan bridge to Arabian Sea) in Goa41
6NW 111Zuari River (Sanvorden bridge to Marmugao Port) in Goa50
7NW 86Rupnarayan River (Pratap Pur to Geonkhali) in West Bengal72Development of the waterway at an estimated cost of INR 24.00 crore has commenced. Improvement to road from NH to water front terminal at Kolaghat at a cost of Rs.15.45 crore is being executed by Irrigation Dept., Govt. of West Bengal on deposit basis. Floating pontoon jetty is under construction for facilitating loading and unloading of fly-ash cargo.  Permanent terminal is also proposed at Kolaghat for which land acquisition completed in June 2022 and development is considered through annual scheme.
8NW 97Sunderbans Waterway (Namkhana to AtharaBanki Khal) in West Bengal172Development of waterway at an estimated cost of INR 18.10 crore has commenced. Dredging work by department dredger is proposed. Waterway is part of Indo-Bangladesh Protocol route and already operational for vessels.
9.NW 40River Ghagra (Ayodhya to Ghaghra-Ganga Confluence) 354An amount of Rs. 11.60 cr. has been approved for fairway development by bandalling and day channel marking, creation of floating terminals and monthly surveys.Scheme at a cost of Rs. 4.46 cr. has been sanctioned during 2021-22 for development under Phase-I of the waterway. 

This information was given by the Union Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Shri Sarbananda Sonowal in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

About Post Author

Editor Desk

Antara Tripathy M.Sc., B.Ed. by qualification and bring 15 years of media reporting experience.. Coverred many illustarted events like, G20, ICC,MCCI,British High Commission, Bangladesh etc. She took over from the founder Editor of IBG NEWS Suman Munshi (15/Mar/2012- 09/Aug/2018 and October 2020 to 13 June 2023).
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