The Transport Ministry has mooted a proposal to utilize part of the fuel cess collected for building national highways for expansion of National Waterways as well. Speaking at the Infrastructure Session of the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Convention in Mumbai , Union Minister for Shipping, Road Transport & Highways, Nitin Gadkari said his Ministry has sent a proposal seeking allocation of 5% of the Central Road Fund for development of Inland Waterways. “My Ministry has prepared the proposal, but the final decision will be taken by the Ministry of Finance. I am pursuing the matter” Gadkari added.
The ambitious Sagarmala programme aims to change the way logistics evacuation happens in India, save logistics costs nationwide for cargo handled and evacuated through seaports, boost overall economic development through ports and empower coastal communities, said union surface transport, roads and shipping minister, Nitin Gadkari here today.
The Union Minister, speaking at a session on infrastructure at the inaugural annual convention of the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce (IACC), said, “The Sagarmala project has the potential to significantly reduce the logistics cost. The project would serve industrial clusters and help generate employment opportunities; Gadkari said and invited private partners to invest in the project.
Exuding confidence that Road sector is performing well, the minister said the government intends to construct 41 km per day from the present 22 km per day. He said the Government has removed constraints such as land acquisition, forest and environment clearances and have fast-tracked many processes, de-risking private participation in the road sector.
He further added like Mumbai Pune highway there are 18 more such highways are in plan which will ease the connectivity across the nation. He further added for such innovation in the transport system government welcomes investors to invest in.
The Convention is significant since Indo-US trade and investment show immense potential. The countries have complementary strengths and capabilities that can make the combined vision and ambition of 500 billion USD trade a reality. Not only will this drive the two large and vibrant economies, but it is also a necessity for cementing cross-sectoral links between them.The objective of the convention is to help, through dialogue, increasing the level of bilateral trade and investment. PwC is the knowledge partner for this convention.
Earlier last week, the Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari flagged off a cargo vessel carrying 200 Maruti cars from Varanasi to Kolkata as part of a pilot run. The Government has commissioned the Jal Marg Vikas project with the technical and financial support of the World Bank to augment capacity of River Ganga from Varanasi to Haldia. The Rs 4,200 crore project, when completed in six years, will facilitate movement of up to 2000 tonne vessels.
Under the National Waterways Act 2016, 111 inland waterways have been declared as National Waterways. Out of these, Allahabad-Haldia Ganga Waterway (NW1), Brahmaputra (NW2), West Coast Canal in Kerala (NW3), Mandovi river in Goa (NW 68), Sundarbans Waterway in West Bengal (NW97) and Zurari River (NW 111) are presently operational. Six more waterways are likely to be commissioned during this financial year.