Odisha to bring Covid-hit waterway projects on track

01 Jun 2021

The State government of Odisha will revive the waterway projects as it sees a decline in the Covid-19 pandemic. The Ministry of Commerce and Transport, Padmanabha Behera, said that the situation has started improving, and steps will be initiated to revive the waterway projects.

The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) has identified six national waterways. The first phase of development of the National Waterway-5 started, and five more are under consideration. The proposals of the waterways will be taken by the State government, after discussing with the agencies, the Minister said.

IWAI has declared that the 588 km river system of Brahmani, Kharsuan, Mahanadi delta river, Matai along East Coast Canal as the National Waterway-5 in 2008, these rivers are planned for navigation. The IWAI signed an MoU on 30 June 2014 with the State government, Paradip Port Trust (PPT), and Dhamra Port for 200 km development in the first phase.

Behera has a virtual meeting with the Ministry of State for Ports, Shipping and Waterways, M L Mandaviya, suggesting that the waterways work on National Waterway-5 should be expedited so it will help in transportation to ports and reduce the financial burden. The transportation through waterways will help in the growth of industries in the State, he said.

He informed the Ministry that the government would give its opinion on the draft of the Indian Port Bill, 2021, after consultation with the stakeholders. He also said that the Center should include the provisions in the Odisha Maritime Board Act in the Indian Port Bill after consultation with the State government.

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