New Delhi: Inland waterways can not only boost the movement of goods and passengers across the country, but will also help in saving about Rs 10,000 crore annually in transporting coal, Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Saturday.
The minister, who also holds the charge of Road Transport and Highways, added that he is hopeful of Parliament’s nod on the bill to convert 111 rivers across India into National Waterways in the current Winter Session.
“Inland waterways will help in saving logistics costs and boost movement of goods and passengers across the country.
Besides, they will also save around Rs 10,000 crore per year while transporting coal, a crucial resource,” Gadkari said at the annual session of industry chamber PHDCCI here.
The waterways is a cheaper and environment friendly medium for transporting of goods, he said adding one HP moves 150 kg on road, 500 kg on rail and 4,000 kg on water besides one litre of fuel moves 24 tonne/km on road, 85 tonne/km on rail and 105 tonne/km on water.
“I am hopeful that Parliament will approve the bill to convert 111 rivers across India into National Waterways,” he added.
The Minister pointed out that port sector in India has turned around under the present government and those managing ports have been directed to improve the performance.
“We expect the ports to register a profit of Rs 6,000 crore this fiscal, which the government will invest to create assets to spur growth,” Gadkari said.
He said that infrastructure sector in India would witness massive changes and transformation in the next few years as the government is converting many four-lane roads and highways into eight lanes as well as a large number of national highways will be turned into express ways.
Necessary permissions and approvals for undertaking such assignments have been completed, he added.
The Minister called upon the industry to participate in making dry ports, as India’s 14 states have the potential for such ports.
To achieve this the willing land owners would have to give their land on which the proposed ports would be built to reduce the logistics and transportation costs especially for imports and exports, he added.
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