Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Besides, the capacity of this sector is under-utilised, because most navigable waterways suffer from hazards like shallow water and narrow width of channel during dry weather; silting of river beds and erosion of banks; absence of adequate infrastructural facilities like terminals for loading and berthing and surface road links.
Hence, as a part of the Government's policy to optimally develop and harness the potential of Inland Waterways in the country, the 'Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI)' was set up under the 'Inland Waterways Authority of India Act, 1985' . The IWAI has been established for the development and regulation of inland waterways for shipping and navigation and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. The Inland Waterways Authority of India Act, 1985, empowers the Government to declare waterways with potential for development of shipping and navigation as National Waterways.
Currently, three waterways have been declared as National Waterways
- National Waterway No.1:- The Ganga between Allahabad-Haldia (1620 km) in UP, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Benal;
- National Waterway No.2:- The Sadiya-Dhubri stretch of river Brahmaputra (891 km) in Assam; and
- National Waterway No.3:- The Kollam-Kottapuram stretch of West Coast Canal along with Champakara and Udyogmandal Canals (205 km) in Kerala.