Mumbai: PepsiCo India and Emami Agrotech Ltd are now using the waterway from Kolkata to deliver 16 TEUs of container cargo (equivalent to 16 truckloads), to Bihar’s capital Patna. This cargo will reach the city’s Gaighat IWT terminal on river Ganga next week, making this a landmark shipment in India’s Inland Water Transport (IWT) sector.
This cargo, which was shipped in Inland Waterways Authority of India’s (IWAI) vessel MV RN Tagore, will reach Patna in six-seven days after an 815 kms long voyage on river Ganga (National Waterway-1). The cargo will be unloaded at IWAI’s inter-modal terminal at Gaighat in Patna from where onward cargo will be loaded.
In November when the country’s first IWT containerised cargo reached Varanasi from Kolkata, Prime Minister, Narendra Modi had received this cargo. The Ministry of Shipping is developing NW-1 (River Ganga) under Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP) from Haldia to Varanasi (1390 Km) with the technical and financial assistance of the World Bank at an estimated cost of Rs 5,369 crore.
The project would enable commercial navigation of vessels with capacity of 1500-2,000 DWT. The movement will give a fillip to the region’s growth and employment. According to the World Bank economic analysis, of the 1.5 lakh direct and indirect employment opportunities to be created due to interventions under JMVP, 50,000 will be in Bihar alone.