IWAI Makes India’s First Standardised Modern Ship Design for Ganga a Reality

The Designs Will Remove Ambiguity on the Class and Type of Vessels that Can Sail On River Ganga Will Translate Into Savings for Ship Builders

Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) today made public 13 standardized state-of-the-art ship designs suitable for large barge haulage on river Ganga (National Waterway-1).

This marks attaining of a critical milestone in the growth of the country’s Inland Water Transport (IWT) sector as it will help overcome the unique navigation challenges river Ganga throws due to its complex river morphology, hydraulics, acute bends, shifting channels, meanders, and current. It will serve as an enabler for the domestic shipbuilding industry working on inland vessels and open huge possibilities for cargo and passenger movement on National Waterway-1.

The specially designed vessels will navigate on low drafts with high carrying capacity and at the same time, environment-friendly. For the shipbuilding industry, the new designs will translate into a savings of Rs 30-50 lakhs in the building of a vessel.

The designs will remove ambiguity on the class and type of vessels that can sail on river Ganga with efficient maneuverability. They will help shipyards build vessels of standardized dimensions and capacity and make them available off the shelf besides developing the ‘sale and purchase’ market for inland vessels. The designs will lead to reduced fuel costs and in turn lesser logistics costs.

These vessels will sail even in depths of about two meters carrying about 350 cars on a five-deck car carrier. Some of the designs would enable movement of bulk cargo carriers with a capacity of 2500 tonnes at three meters depth, thereby, removing almost 150 truckloads of pressure from the road or one full rail rake with the plying of just one such vessel.

The new designs will obviate the dependence of Indian Shipbuilders on foreign ship designs for IWT and prove to be a boost to ‘Make in India’ initiative of the Government.

This marks attaining of a critical milestone in the growth of the country’s Inland Water Transport (IWT) sector as it will help overcome the unique navigation challenges river Ganga throws due to its complex river morphology, hydraulics, acute bends, shifting channels, meanders, and current. It will serve as an enabler for the domestic shipbuilding industry working on inland vessels and open huge possibilities for cargo and passenger movement on National Waterway-1.

The Jal Marg Vikas Project seeks to facilitate plying of vessels with a capacity of 1,500-2,000 tonnes in the Haldia- Varanasi stretch of the River Ganga. The major works being taken up under JMVP are the development of fairway, Multi-Modal Terminals, strengthening of river navigation system, conservancy works, modern River Information System (RIS), Digital Global Positioning System (DGPS), night navigation facilities, modern methods of channel marking etc.

The JMVP, which is expected to be completed by March 2023, is being implemented with the financial and technical support of the World Bank. The project will enable commercial navigation of vessels with the capacity of 1500-2,000 tons on NW-I.

The alternative mode of transport that will be environmentally friendly and cost effective. The project will contribute to bringing down the logistics cost in the country. Mammoth Infrastructure development like multi-modal and inter-modal terminals, Roll on – Roll off (Ro-Ro) facilities, ferry services, navigation aids. Socio-economic impetus; huge employment generation.

Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) is the statutory authority in charge of the waterways in India. Its headquarters is located in Noida, UP. It does the function of building the necessary infrastructure in these waterways, surveying the economic feasibility of new projects and also administration.

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