Sarbananda Sonowal

The Haldia-Guwahati inland waterways services will commence soon, said Union Shipping Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has said.

The contract to connect Guwahati via inland waterways has been awarded and services will start soon.

The jetty will be operational for exim and inland cargo from Haldia to Pandu terminal in Guwahati, connecting the Northeast with Kolkata via the National Waterways-2.

Sonowal said that it will be an easy and cost-effective movement of cargo to and from the Northeast to foreign countries and the other States of India.

When asked about the finances, the Minister said the government is mulling providing guarantees to banks for soft funds so that this sector can take off.

The Ministry of Shipping is developing the Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP) on National Waterway-1 (NW-1) from Haldia to Varanasi (1390 km) with the technical and financial assistance of the World Bank at an estimated cost of Rs. 4,633.81 crores.

The project would enable commercial navigation of vessels with a capacity of 1500-2,000 DWT.

NW-1 (River Ganga) under JMVP, which was approved by the Cabinet Committee for Economic Affairs in Jan 2018, is currently under construction.

Constructions of multi-modal terminals at Varanasi and Sahibganj have been already completed.

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