The new terminal will be ready in the next two years and will help to boost trade with neighbouring Nepal and north-east Indian states and those falling under the National Waterway-I (NW-1) route. IWAI will also be giving two vessels to Bihar to be used as roll-on roll-off (Ro-Ro) service.
Addressing mediapersons after the project oversight committee meeting held here on Wednesday, IWAI chairperson Anita Prasad said the state government had allotted five hectares of land about a week back and by 2022 the new terminal will be ready. She said, “We had a meeting with the representatives of state government on Tuesday and the response was good. Once the terminal is developed, goods can be transported from NW-I to Nepal and cities in the north like Siliguri.”
Anita further said IWAI had purchased four vessels for river Ganga, of which two will be given to Bihar. These vessels will be used as Ro-Ro service. The new vessels in the state are expected to reach by April this year. She also said focus was being given on tapping waterways, as it was more environment-friendly and economically cheaper than road and railways.
State transport commissioner Seema Tripathi said, “Tapping waterways will not only help reduce pressure on road and railways, it will also boost economic activities in Bihar. At present many of the bridges are under repair. In such a situation Ro-Ro service will be of great help,” the official said.
NW-I on Ganga, which starts from Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh to Haldia in West Bengal is 1,460 km long. NWIA has already made three multi-nodal terminal on this route, one at Varanasi at a cost of Rs 200 crore, another at Sahebganj at Rs 250 crore and at Haldia at Rs 500 crore.
“NW-I is being developed under the Centre’s ‘Jal Marg Vikas’ project with the financial and technical assistance from World Bank at a cost of Rs 5000 crore. Once completed, the project will help in navigation of vessel with the capacity of 1500 to 2000 tonne,” said IWAI vice-chairman Pravir Pandey.