As part of augmenting inland navigation, India has embarked on developing more than a hundred waterways in a phased manner. A total of 111 waterways are being made navigable in the fior4st phase, Minister of Shipping Mansukh Mandaviya said.
Noting that the government’s intention was to boost inland transportation, he told the Lok Sabha that various steps were being taken up to ensure increased use of waterways and coastal shipping. Various steps have been taken for ensuring the required depths in the waterways. Apart from this, the government was also providing GPS and River Information System among other things.
Mandaviya also told the House that there had been a steady increase in inland transport in the last two years. In 2018-19, the transportation was 72.31 Million Tonnes while it was 55.03 MT in 2017-18 and 55.20 MT in 2016-17. On the various steps taken to promote inland transportation, he said that forty per cent discount was already being given to coastal vessels at all major ports. He pointed out that relaxation in license has been given in the Merchant Shipping Act for agriculture products, fertilizers, horticulture products, fisheries and animal husbandry products.