Government steps up effort to boost inland waterways

It has formed a panel to identify new areas for attracting private investments in the sector

To promote private investment into inland waterways, the Central government has constituted a committee which will identify new areas for attracting funds and private investment in the sector.

“This committee would undertake a systematic effort to identify new areas for private investment, both in infrastructure and in transportation. It will also identify multiple business models which could then be bid out through concessions.

The PMO has been actively pushing for greater private investment in inland waterways.

The PMO has identified and fast-tracked implementation of key projects in the national waterways (NW). These are the

Varanasi-Haldia stretch of the Ganga (NW-1),

Brahmaputra in Assam (NW-2),

Inland stretch in Kerala (NW-3).

Based on the push by the PMO, the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) has moved forward on large-scale private investments to transport coal and fertilizer on NW-1, food grain and coal on NW-2, and a cargo on NW-3.

“This (process) will be supplemented by designing model concession agreements and other standardised documents for facilitating a rapid scaling up of investment.

The committee will have Secretary (Planning), Secretary (Shipping), Director General IWAI and a representative of DEA (Department of Economic Affairs) as members.

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