Parliament passes National Waterways Bill, 2015
The Parliament has passed National Waterways Bill, 2015 to clear decks for the conversion of 106 rivers and creeks across India into transport waterways.
It was first passed in Lok Sabha in December 2015 i.e. in the winter session and later was passed by Rajya Sabha in March 2016 i.e. in the budget session.
- The National Waterways Bill, 2015 aims at declaring 106 additional inland waterways as National Waterways in addition to the five existing National Waterways.
- It repeals the existing five Acts that declare the existing 5 national waterways. These existing five national waterways are now covered under the new Bill.
- Thus the total number of national waterways number will go up to 111 from existing five national waterways.
Inland waterways mainly comprise rivers, lakes, canals, creeks and backwaters. It extends about 14,500 km across the country. However, potential of this mode of transport has not been fully exploited so far.
For more details: (i) National Waterways Bill, 2015 (ii) Cabinet Approval