The World Bank has approved a $375 million loan for development of navigation in the River Ganga. The loan is to be used, under the Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP), for enabling commercial navigation of vessels with capacity of 1500-2000 DWT from Haldia to Varanasi stretch of the river.
The stretch is a part of National Waterway I, a waterway of national significance passing through Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal.
“The Rail and Road corridors in this region are heavily saturated. Hence, the development of NW-1 would provide an alternative, viable, economical, efficient and eco-friendly mode of transport. The waterway will act as a catalyst in the socio-economic development of the regions by creating new business and employment opportunities,” said a government statement.
Three multi-modal terminals — Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh), Sahibganj (Jharkhand), and Haldia (West Bengal) — will be developed. A River Information Service System, to optimize traffic and transport processes in inland navigation, will be set up under the project.