The Union Government undertakes development and regulation of only those waterways which are declared as National Waterways. In a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha the Minister of Shipping Shri G.K. Vasan said that it is the responsibility of the respective State Governments to develop any other waterways.
Waterways that are being developed as National Waterways (NWs) presently are:
– Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hooghly river system (Allahabad-Haldia-1620 km) in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal as NW-1, declared in 1986.
– River Brahmaputra (Dhubri-Sadiya-891 km) in the state of Assam as NW-2 declared in 1988.
– West Coast Canal (Kottapuram-Kollam) along with Udyogmandal and Champakara Canals – (205 km) in the state of Kerala as NW-3 declared in 1993.
– Kakinada-Puducherry Canals along with Godavari and Krishna rivers (1078 km) – in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Union Territory of Puducherry as NW-4 declared in 2008.
– East Coast Canal integrated with Brahmani river and Mahanadi delta rivers (588 km) in the states of West Bengal and Odisha as NW-5 declared in 2008.
The minister said that the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) is developing the first three National Waterways for shipping and navigation by providing a navigational channel with targeted depth & width for most part of the year. These are provided with aids for day and night navigation, fixed/floating terminals at selected locations for berthing and loading/unloading of vessels and intermodal connectivity at a few selected locations.
For development of National Waterway-4 and 5, IWAI has explored the feasibility of developing commercially viable stretches under Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode with Viability Gap Funding (VGF).
Press Release, December 9, 2013