Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI): Unlocking India’s Vast Water Transport Potential

The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) is a vital statutory body operating under the Ministry of Shipping, Government of India. Established through the Inland Waterways Authority of India Act of 1985, the IWAI is responsible for developing, regulating, and managing India’s extensive inland waterways network.

India boasts an impressive network of inland waterways, covering approximately 14,500 km of navigable water routes. The IWAI has identified 10 significant national waterways, comprising major rivers and canals that have been thoughtfully developed for navigation purposes. These national waterways include:

  1. National Waterway 1 (NW-1): The Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hooghly river system stretches from Haldia (Sagar) to Allahabad, encompassing a length of 1620 km.
  2. National Waterway 2 (NW-2): The Brahmaputra river system spans from Dhubri (Assam) to Sadiya (Assam), extending over 890 km.
  3. National Waterway 3 (NW-3): The Krishna River system runs from Vijayawada (Andhra Pradesh) to Machilipatnam (Andhra Pradesh), covering 160 km.
  4. National Waterway 4 (NW-4): The Godavari river system between Kakinada (Andhra Pradesh) and Rajahmundry (Andhra Pradesh), with a length of 1038 km.
  5. National Waterway 5 (NW-5): The Mahanadi river system from Patna (Bihar) to Cuttack (Odisha), covering 600 km.
  6. National Waterway 6 (NW-6): The Chambal River system stretches from Kota (Rajasthan) to Sawai Madhopur (Rajasthan), spanning 446 km.
  7. National Waterway 7 (NW-7): The West Coast canal system between Kottapuram (Kerala) and Kollam (Kerala), extends over 205 km.
  8. National Waterway 8 (NW-8): The East Coast canal system from Kakinada (Andhra Pradesh) to Puducherry (Tamil Nadu), covering 163 km.
  9. National Waterway 9 (NW-9): The Sethusamudram Ship Canal Project (proposed).
  10. Additional efforts include promoting inland waterways for tourism through various water sports events and festivals.

The IWAI has been actively involved in enhancing inland waterways’ navigability through a range of projects, including dredging, construction of bridges, and developing terminal facilities. Leveraging inland waterways for transportation offers several advantages, including reduced environmental impact compared to road or rail transport, as well as a cost-effective approach due to higher cargo capacity and lower transportation costs per kilometer.

By propelling the development of inland waterways, the IWAI is driving the adoption of this sustainable and economically viable alternative to traditional transportation methods. Not only does this initiative help mitigate pollution and preserve the environment, but it also creates new employment opportunities.

Furthermore, the IWAI plays a pivotal role in promoting tourism in India. Encouraging travelers to explore the inland waterways, the IWAI organizes water sports events and offers valuable assistance to tourists seeking to traverse these picturesque water routes.

In conclusion, the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) is spearheading India’s endeavor to unlock the full potential of its inland water transport system. By promoting greener and more economically efficient transportation options, the IWAI is contributing to a cleaner environment, job creation, and the growth of tourism in the country.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *