National Waterways Act 2016

  • The National Waterways Bill, 2015 was introduced in Lok Sabha on May 5, 2015, by the Minister of Road Transport and Highways and Shipping, Mr Nitin Gadkari.
  • Under Entry 24 of the Union List of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution, the central government can make laws on shipping and navigation on inland waterways which are classified as national waterways by Parliament by law.
  • The Bill identifies additional 101 waterways as national waterways.  The Schedule of the Bill also specifies the extent of development to be undertaken on each waterway.
  • The Bill repeals the five Acts that declare the existing national waterways.  These five national waterways are now covered under the Bill.
  • The Statement of Objects and Reasons of the Bill states that while inland waterways are recognised as a fuel-efficient, cost-effective and environment-friendly mode of transport, it has received lesser investment as compared to roads and railways.  Since inland waterways are lagging behind other modes of transport, the central government has evolved a policy for the integrated development of inland waterways.

(Policy Research & Studies)

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