National Waterways Development To Promote IWT

Aerial of barge on Mississippi River in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Feb 10: As informed by the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, National Waterways are developed to promote environment-friendly, cost-effective and location-specific alternate modes of Inland Water Transport (IWT) supplementary to existing Rail and Road transport, wherever feasible.

Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) an autonomous body under that Ministry is responsible for the regulation and development of National waterways (NWs) for shipping and navigation and develops navigation channels in the deepest portion of the river in 35 to 45 m width for 2 to 3 m depth for the operation of 200 T vessels. More water, thus made available, in the waterway helps to improve the Least Available Depth (LAD) which makes navigation smooth and it is directly helpful to reduce transportation costs.

Further, to promote Inland Water Transport in the country, 111 Inland Waterways (including 5 existing and 106 additional Waterways) spread over 24 states have been declared as National Waterways (NWs) vide National Waterways Act, 2016. The list of these NWs is annexed.

Further, D/o Water Resource, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation, has prepared a National Framework on Sediment Management (NFSM) for comprehensive and holistic management of sediment by the State Governments/Project Authorities/ Other Ministries. The framework inter alia highlights provisions on dredging and desilting in national waterways.

The approved NFSM document is in the public domain and may be accessed at:

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