The first of three multi-modal terminals to be operational, this is part of a project to promote inland waterways as a cheaper and environmental-friendly alternative means of transport.
On November 12, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate India’s first multi-modal terminal on the river Ganga at Varanasi. This will be the first of three multi-modal terminals on the river under the Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP), The Indian Express reported.
This multi-modal terminal project is expected to generate 500 direct and 2,000 indirect employment opportunities.
Built at a cost of Rs 206.84 crore, the terminal will have a total capacity of 1.26 MPTA. It has quite a few onboard facilities, including two mobile harbour cranes and a shell structure of ancillary buildings. The JMVP project is aimed at promoting inland waterways as an alternative means of transport that will be cheaper and eco-friendly, especially for cargo movement. It is being taken care of by the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI).
Developing along the stretch of Ganga between Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh to Haldi in West Bengal, it will enable navigation of large vessels weighing up to 1,500-2,000 tonnes by maintaining a drought of 2-3 metres.
The release added that the IWAI has also finalised 13 vessel designs suitable for inland water transport. The models have been designed by Germany-based company DST and focus on efficiency, low transport cost, high safety, low draft and high carrying capacity. The testing of these vessels has been completed and a final report is awaited.
Apart from the terminal in Varanasi, two more are under construction in Sahibganj and Haldia. Additionally, the project also entails several other constructions including two intermediate terminals, five Roll On Roll Off (Ro-Ro) pair of terminals, a navigation lock at Farakka, assured depth dredging, integrated vessel repair, and a maintenance facility.