A workshop titled ‘Promoting Coastal Shipping and Inland Navigation in India’ organised by the Ministry of Shipping began today in Bhubaneswar.
This is the second in a series of workshops the Ministry plans to hold over the next 6-8 months to create awareness about the Sagarmala programme amongst the stake holders and to engage with them. The first such workshop was held on June 9 in New Delhi under the theme ‘Accelerating Sagarmala Implementation – Engaging with States’.
The main objective of tomorrow’s workshop in Bhubaneswar is to increase awareness about coastal shipping and inland navigation, with the purpose of increasing their modal share in the logistical modal mix from the current level of approximately 6 percent to about 12 percent by 2025 under Sagarmala.
India’s 7500 kms of coastline and almost 14,000 kms of navigable rivers provide the perfect platform for the development of integrated water based transport system for domestic and EXIM freight as well as passenger transport.
The promotion of coastal shipping and inland navigation will help to reduce the congestion on the road and rail network. The transportation of cargo through coastal shipping and inland water navigation is also very cost effective. It is estimated that the cost per ton per kilometer of moving cargo through the coastal or inland navigation route can be sixty percent to eighty percent cheaper than moving the cargo through rail or road. One of the other benefit of coastal shipping and inland navigation is that it is more environment friendly than the other modes of transportation.
In order to promote inland navigation, 111 inland waterways across 24 states have been declared as National Waterways (NWs) under the National Waterways Act, 2016. These will be developed and utilized as environment friendly and sustainable modes of transport.
National Waterway-5 covers the state of Odisha and a part of West Bengal. It runs a total length of 623 km of which 91 km is within West Bengal and the remaining 532 km is in Odisha. The stretches from Talcher to Dhamra on the Brahmani River is particularly very important as it will also serve the coalfields in Talcher and Ib Valley of Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL).