INLAND WATERWAYS (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Infrastructure)

News-CRUX-10     8th January 2024        
output themes

Context: The Inland Waterways Authority of India, under the Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways (MoPSW), is set to host the inaugural 'Inland Waterways Development Council' meeting on January 8, 2023, in Kolkata.

Inland Waterways

  • About: An inland waterway refers to a navigable route utilized for the transportation of goods, materials, or other mobile items. Such waterways encompass rivers, lakes, canals, and backwaters.
  • Natural Waterways: Rivers and Lakes
  • Artificial Waterways: Canals and Backwaters
  • Uses: Inland waterways serve as conduits for the movement of substantial cargo via water, with the corresponding transportation system often termed as marine transport.

Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI)

  • About: The IWAI is tasked with the development and regulation of inland waterways for shipping and navigation.
  • Established: In October 1986, the Authority, headquartered in Noida, operates regional offices in various cities.
  • Aim: At the development and upkeep of Inland Water Transport (IWT) infrastructure on national waterways.
  • Funded by: From the Shipping Ministry.

Inland Waterways in India

  • India possesses around 14,500 km of navigable waterways, with approximately 5,200 km of rivers and 4,000 km of canals suitable for mechanized crafts.
  • Despite their considerable potential for transportation development, inland waterways in India remain underutilized compared to those in other countries.
  • The Road Transport Sector dominates, constituting about 87% of passenger traffic and 60% of freight traffic movement within the country.
  • Number of National Waterways: Out of the 111 National Waterways (NWs) declared under the National Waterways Act, 2016, 13 NWs are operational for shipping and navigation and cargo/passenger vessels are moving on them.