Union transport and shipping minister Nitin Gadkari said the NDA government would come out with a bill to promote Indian inland waterways transportation which would be economical and hassle-free as compared to other modes of transportation.
At present, the country has five waterways and any addition could be made only through a bill in Parliament. The Union government has identified 101 rivers across the nation where the waterways traffic will be initiated especially to move cargos.
Two rivers of Punjab too have been identified for the ambitious project wherein options will be explored to run sea planes and busses on water. He also talked about forming a corporation in Punjab to promote waterways transportation.
He was here to lay the foundation stones of seven road projects worth Rs 3342 crore. He said “though there is very limited scope in Punjab to promote water transportation mode due to lack of rivers in the state, a corporation will be set up to promote water transportation”. He asked Punjab government to come up with a project report and an agreement will be signed to make it feasible.
Gadkari said under the proposal to develop Indian inland waterways water ports will be constructed. The bridges will have to be raised in rivers to make ships pass without any hitch. When the proposal is made operational the sea planes and water bus will run in these rivers and options are explored to run it even in a lake like the Bathinda lake. Gadkari said NDA government is also making efforts to adopt the make in India model under which dry ports and shipyards will be developed in India. He said waterways transportation is much cheaper than other modes of transport and if road transportation cost Rs 1.5 per km, Railways cost Rs 1 and water transportation cost only 30 paisa.