New Delhi: The Ministry of Shipping on Thursday announced that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will dedicate the newly constructed Multi-Modal Terminal on River Ganga to the nation, on November 12 in Varanasi. It is the first of the three Multi-Modal Terminals being constructed on the river.
The Multi Modal Terminals (MMTs) are built under the government’s Jal Marg Vikas project. Apart from the MMTs, two Inter-Modal Terminals are also being constructed on the river.
The terminal’s construction started in June 2016 and will be ready this month. It is the first modal to be constructed on National Waterway -1, at a cost of Rs. 206.84 crores. The terminal has a capacity of 1.26 MPTA, It also has two mobile harbour cranes, shell structure of ancillary building, among several other facilities.
The project of the multi-modal terminal and proposed Freight Village at Varanasi are expected to generate 500 direct employment and more than 2000 indirect employment opportunities.
The objective is to promote inland waterways as a cheaper and more environment-friendly means of transport, especially for cargo movement. Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) is the project Implementing Agency.
The Prime Minister will also receive India’s first container vessel that sailed from Kolkata on October 30, carrying cargo belonging to PEPSICO (India) from Kolkata to Varanasi. Container movement on an inland waterway in India is being done for the first time post-independence.
The IWAI vessel, MV Rabindranath Tagore is transporting 16 containers equivalent to 16 truckloads of food and snacks and is expected to reach Varanasi on November 11. It will make its return journey with fertilizers from IFFCO.
In a separate event the same day, Prime Minister will also inaugurate two National Highways projects – the Babatpur-Varanasi Airport road and Varanasi Ring Road. In addition to this, he will also inaugurate some sewerage projects in the city and lay the foundation stone for a project under Namami Gange programme of National Mission for Clean Ganga.
The Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP) aims to develop the stretch of River Ganga between Varanasi to Haldi for navigation of large vessels up to 1500-2000 tonnes weight, by maintaining a drought of 2-3 metres in this stretch of the river and setting up other systems required for safe navigation.
It is being implemented on the Haldia-Varanasi stretch of National Waterway-1 with the technical assistance and investment support of the World Bank, at an estimated cost of Rs. 5,369.18 crores on a 50:50 sharing basis between Government of India and the World Bank.
The project entails construction of three multimodal terminals (Varanasi, Sahibganj and Haldia); two intermodal terminals; five Roll On – Roll Off (Ro-Ro) terminal pairs; new navigation lock at Farakka; assured depth dredging; integrated vessel repair & maintenance facility, Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS), River Information System (RIS), river training & river conservancy works.