Pradhan Mantri Jal Marg Yojana - Features and Advantages

Pradhan Mantri Jal Marg Yojana - Features and Advantages

Question - Economic development and progress will be spurred through development of waterways. Discuss the state of Indian waterways and the Pradhan Mantri Jal Marg Yojana.

Government is aiming to introduce a bill in the parliament to convert 101rivers across the nation into waterways in an upcoming Parliament session

• The Bill aims to promote water transport to spur economic growth

• This is because waterways is a cheaper mode of transport

• Transportation cost through waterways comes to 30 paise a km as against Re. 1 in rail links and Rs. 1.5 through road

• In comparison, China transportation of goods constitute 44% of the total transportation in comparison to a minimum of 3.3% in India.

• The government of India has so far declared only 5 stretches as waterways

• Inland waterways comprise rivers, lakes, canals, creeks, backwaters and so on.

• These extend to around 14,500 km in the country yet have not been exploited so far

• Inland Waterways Authority of India has recently signed a pact with Odisha government for the commercial development of National Waterway 5

Pradhan Mantri Jal Marg Yojana

• Government has launched this scheme for establishing dry and satellite ports

• The scheme also proposes converting river ways into waterways

• National Waterway 5 has integrated Brahmini river with Mahanadi river and East Coast Canal

• Project has to develop National Waterways 4 Sholinganallur-Kallapakkam stretch of South Buckingham Canal has also been sanctioned.

• National Waterways 1,2 and 3 have also been made operational in recent times

• The yojana aims to make transport cost effective and improve employment opportunities

• The scheme aims to use coastal line, rivers and inland for developing a strong water transport network will lower fuel consumption and generate employment

• Higher usage of water transport network will reduce road accidents which amount to 131,000 each year while promoting fuel efficiency

• 90% of Exim cargo in India is transported through ships and the contribution of domestic cargo is only 10%. The scheme is being launched in a bid to boost industry prospects and water transport simultaneously

• Efforts will also be made to boost the capacity of 12 major ports

• There are a total of 6 lakh Indian seafarers at present who will benefit from this scheme

Facts and Stats

India has a total of 5 National Waterways:

- Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hooghly river system/Allahabad-Haldia-1620 km;
- River Brahmaputra/Dhubri-Sadiya-891 km;
- West Coast Canal/Kottapuram-Kollam with the Udyogmandal and Champakara Canals/205 km
- Kakinada-Puducherry canals with Godavari and Krishna rivers/1078 km
- East Coast Canal integrated with Brahmani river and Mahanadi delta rivers/588 km.

• Inland Waterways Authority of India came into force with effect from 1986 for development as well as regulation of inland waterways for navigation as well as shipping

• The Authority carries out projects for development and maintenance of national waterways through grants received by the shipping ministry

• IWAI has a head office at Noida; it also has 4 regional offices and 9 sub-offices
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