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Sarbananda Sonowal announces major initiatives for Inland Waterways

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Varanasi: The Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways and Ayush, Sarbananda Sonowal announced major initiatives with an investment of more than β‚Ή542 crores to propel capacity building of the inland waterways in the eastern India, while addressing at the roadshow of Global Maritime India summit, 2023.

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The investment is aimed at further enabling the National Waterways 1 (river Ganga) to cater to the growing demand for inland waterways as the preferred mode of cargo transport, as well as newer routes for improving waterways connectivity between Nepal and Bangladesh. The Union Minister also announced a new world class cruise terminal to be developed at Varanasi. At the roadshow event for Global Maritime India Summit, 2023, the Union Minister, Sarbananda Sonowal, announced a New Navigational Lock at Farakka for smooth movement of vessels between Ganga and Bhagirathi-Hooghly rivers. Built at a cost of
β‚Ή375 crores, this is aimed at reducing turnaround time (TAT) of vessels by 80%; i.e., from 2 hours to just 23 minutes. Further, in
order to smooth passage of vehicles, Quick Opening Pontoon Systems on River Ganga were installed one each in UP and Bihar, with a cost of β‚Ή40 crores. Plans are afoot to install 10 more such Pontoon systems at various locations. Further, a new terminal at Kalughat on Ganga (NW 1) in Bihar is being built
with an aim to enhance waterways connectivity with Nepal and
boosting EXIM cargo movement. This project is pegged at a cost of β‚Ή82.5 crores and scheduled to be completed by 2023.

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