IWAI Current Affairs

Union Cabinet nod for IWAI bond issue

The Union Cabinet gave its nod to Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) to raise Rs.660 crore in bonds for extra budgetary resources (EBRs) in 2017-18.

The proceeds from the bonds will be utilised by IWAI for development and maintenance of National Waterways (NWs) under National Waterways Act, 2016. Moreover, the funds received will be used exclusively for capital expenditure to improve infrastructure funding.

Modalities

The principal and interest in respect of the EBRs will be financed by the Union Government by making suitable budgetary provisions in the demand of the Union Ministry of Shipping. The interest payment on the bonds will be on semi-annual basis and the principal on maturity. The whole exercise would be undertaken by IWAI through appointment of lead managers and coordination with SEBI.

Background

Gross budgetary support from the Union Government and external financial support for funding development and maintenance of 106 new National Waterways under National Waterway Act, 2016, is grossly inadequate. So far, the World Bank has sanctioned a loan of $ 375 million (around Rs 2,421 crore) for Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP) along with other sources. But still there is funding gap which may be bridged by raising bonds.

About Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI)

IWAI is the statutory body in charge of the waterways in India. Its headquarters is located in Noida, UP. Its main function is to build the necessary infrastructure in the inland waterways, surveying the economic feasibility of new projects and also carrying out administration and regulation.

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IWAI signs contract with DST, Germany for designing special vessels for NW-1

The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) has signed a contract with German company DST to design vessels suited to navigate the 1620 km stretch of National Waterway (NW-1).

Under the contract, DST will has been initially tasked to develop low draft vessels for transportation of cars that can carry upto 150-200 vehicles.

Key Facts

  • The contract has been awarded to DST in par with the objective of providing safe, environment friendly and economical mode of transportation through the waterway.
  • The specially designed vessels will navigate on low drafts. They will be having high carrying capacity and most importantly, will be environment friendly.
  • DST will develop draft vessels keeping in view the difficult hydro-morphological characteristics of the river in the upper stretches of NW1 between Patna and Varanasi.

Background

  • The Union Government is developing NW-1 (Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hooghly) under the Jal Marg Vikas Project, with assistance from the World Bank.
  • This project would enable commercial navigation of vessels with capacity of 1500-2,000 tons. The Phase-I of the project covers the Haldia-Varanasi stretch.
  • The project includes development of fairway, multi-modal terminals at Haldia, Varanasi and Sahibganj, strengthening of river navigation system.
  • It also includes modern River Information System (RIS), Digital Global Positioning System (DGPS), modern methods of channel marking, night navigation facilities, construction of a new state of the art navigational lock at Farakka.

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