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.
- 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.
- 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.