The Minister of Shipping Shri G.K. Vasan will inaugurate a Transport terminal of the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) at a function at Garden Reach Jetty-2 in Kolkatta Port Trust area today.
Kolkata being a transportation hub on the Ganga, the new terminal would serve states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and the North-Eastern Region. The construction of this RCC Inland Waterways Terminal (IWT) terminal was taken up at a cost of Rs. 38.47 crore and it will give a fillip to inland navigation in the region.
Shri G.K. Vasan would also flag off coal barges of 2100 DWT (Deadweight tonnage) of Jindal ITF Ltd, to formally launch the recently started movement of imported coal on National Waterway-1 (the Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hooghly River System) by inland vessels from Sandheads in Bay of Bengal to Farakka Thermal Power Plant of NTPC Ltd. in District Murshidabad, West Bengal.
This coal movement has started under a Tripartite Agreement among Inland Waterways Authority of India, NTPC Ltd. and Jindal ITF Ltd. in August, 2011. Under it, Jindal ITF Ltd has invested about Rs. 500 crore for transshipper at Sandheads, coal carrying barges, inland water terminal at Farakka with state-of-art coal unloading cranes and conveyor system. The operator, Jindal ITF Ltd. will transport minimum three million tonnes of coal per annum for seven years. NTPC can also receive additional coal for the Kahalgaon Thermal Power Plant through this operation. This additional supply of coal through inland waterways, an eco-friendly, economical and fuel efficient mode of transport, will augment coal supply to NTPC Power Plant at Farakka enabling increased power generation.
This is the first project for bulk movement of coal through National Waterways and also when a private entrepreneur has made a substantiate investment in the IWT development for the first time in the country. A conveyor belt system from the jetty on National Waterway-1 to the coal stockyard of NTPC power plant was also set up at Farak`ka.
The Inland Water Transport is economical, environmental friendly and is most suitable for bulk cargo movement. IWAI is developing first 3 National Waterways namely NW-1 (on the Ganga), NW-2 (Brahmaputra) and NW-3 (on the West Coast Canal system) for shipping and navigation by providing navigational channel with targeted depth and width for most part of the year. Intermodal connectivity with rail and road has also been planned for selected locations depending on the hinterland cargo projections. The infrastructure so far created will be further developed if any other specific projects targeting large quantity of bulk goods like coal, fertilizers, and foodgrains etc. are identified and committed for transportation on National Waterways.
At present 10 Thermal Power Stations are operational in the proximity of National Waterway – 1. Another 11 are expected to come up along the NW-1 in the next 5 to 8 years with the total installed capacity of 15000 MW. National Waterway – 1 is fully ready to cater to the transportation needs of NTPC, and other industrial units for transportation of bulk cargo required for the plants located on the banks of the Ganga. Inland Waterways also has potential to create of employment opportunities for people in the vicinity of waterways.
Press Release, November 25, 2013