NW 1 Current Affairs

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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