Water Ways cover

Vol no. 15 Issue No. 92

Inside this issue

Inland Waterways

Jal Marg Vikas Pioneering Navigation in India

By: Pravir Pandey

Integrating India’s vast network of perennial rivers with modern technologies and wise investments to make the most of its navigational challenges will bring prosperity through trade and employment to its people.

Developing 101 Waterways: Reviving Inland Water Transport in India

By: Prashant Srivastava

The absence of an interlinked network has resulted in the gross under-utilisation of India’s waterways.

Inland Waterways Policy

By: Jose Paul and Mini Elizabeth Eappen

The integrated multimodal transport system envisaged under the National Waterways Bill, 2015, can benefit hitherto neglected regions in the northeast, and decongest roads and railways in India.

Dredging in Shallow Waters

By: Gayad S Inda

Dredging is an excavation activity carried out in the approaches to seas, harbours, estuaries, inland waters, rivers, and lakes to remove material from the bed for safe navigation. It is important that the government devises appropriate training of technical personnel for dredging given its resolve to set up a network of national waterways all over India.

Connecting India’s Northeast: NW-2


The 891 km NW-2 on the Brahmaputra has been operating as a national waterway since 1988. Subsequent development of inland water transport and concomitant facilities along the entire stretch, particularly in 2014-15, is a boon for the economy of the entire northeastern region.

Lifeline for the Western Coast: NW-3


The West Coast Canal System, or as it is now known, the National Waterway 3 is fast nearing completion. Of its 11 waterways that can be made operational, eight are complete, with the rest to follow soon.

Inland Waterways: Some Bright Spots

By: S P Gaur

Notwithstanding the low utilisation of existing waterways, the government’s proposal to develop national waterways is a welcome move, given the marked success of the Haldia-Farakka route in moving coal, and river tourism.

Challenges of Inland Transit in India

By: Staff Reporter

The lack of capacity—from research to operation personnel and private entrepreneurship, is adversely affecting the growth of inland waterways.

The Unforeseen Contingency

By: Nanda Gopal K Reddy

The advancement in machine and ship design has accompanied stringent regulations that pose major hurdles for the burgeoning economies of ports. These bottlenecks can hamper the growth of the Indian shipping sector.

Sustainable Water Transport and Low Emission Fuels

By: S C Misra and Eswara Arun Kishore

Water transport is recognised as the cheapest mode the world over. However, the rapid development of the sector and fossil fuels can emit pollutant and greenhouse gases. It is imperative, hence to opt for cleaner fuels for sustainable water transport.

India’s Maritime Ambitions

By: Sudhakshina Gupta

A Case for Private Participation Economic liberalisation has contributed to huge growth in maritime trade. The government has already responded to the phenomenon by initiating public-private partnership for the development of existing, and the construction of new ports.


Nitin Gadkari | Waterways: Coming of age

By: Staff Reporter

Mapping India’s infrastructure growth, in an interview with G’nY, the affable Union Minister for Shipping, Nitin Gadkari, shows a dream that can decongest most of India’s roads and provide a huge fillip to India’s industry through all round development of waterways.

Rajive Kumar | Connecting the Waterworld

By: Staff Reporter

Rajive Kumar, Secretary, Ministry of Shipping speaking with Editor, G’nY, highlighted the government’s initiatives in developing inland waterways and flagged the need for its integration with the coastal shipping for facilitating a vibrant transport system in the country.

In brief

Editor's Note

Water transport needs ‘trained’ rivers. Most importantly it needs a consistent flow of water. With rapid siltation, exacerbated by rampant deforestation and increased uptake by urbanisation, industry and agriculture, not to mention dams that curtail the free flow of rivers, India’s navigable w

Term Power

What is ...

Reefers are temperature controlled containers that are employed to transport fresh food or other sensitive goods. Modern reefers, powered by the ship’s power system, feature a plethora of characteristics right from temperature and humidity control to automated ventilation.

Dry cargo consists of material in either liquid or granular, particulate form, as a mass of relatively small solids, such as petroleum/crude oil, grain, coal, or gravel that are either dropped or poured using heavy equipment.

Barges are usually used in rivers and canals to transport heavy goods. They are flat bottomed and most barges require a towboat to tow or push them, although self propelled barges also exist. In contemporary times, barges are used to transport low value items in bulk.

LAD or least available depth is the minimum depth of a water body required for vessels to navigate. Most commonly, water bodies in India need a LAD of 2.5 m for navigability.

Barrages are artificial barriers across rivers or streams built to prevent flooding and aid in navigation of vessels. It consists of several gates that are opened or closed as required to maintain a certain elevation of the water level.

Bunker C is generic name for one of several heavy residual fuel used to power ships. These dark petroleum fractions have high viscosity and requiring preheating to 104-126oC. Bunker C fuel conforms to the number 6 fuel oil grade and is also known as residual fuel oil (RFO).

Most Indian rivers are plagued by excessive siltation which renders them unnavigable. Dredging digs out the excess silt and sediments from the riverbeds making them navigable. The method is also used to replenish sand on some public beaches, where sand has been lost because of coastal erosion.

Ballast tanks are compartments that hold water in a ship. After a ship unloads, the ballast tanks are pumped with water to weight down the ship and provide stability. Ballast tanks also pose serious environmental threats as it is instrumental in introducing non-indigenous aquatic organisms.

Break-in-bulk point is a geographical location where goods are transferred from one mode of transport to another. Example, docks where ships unload cargo and distribute them into railways and roadways.

A fairway is a channel of water that acts as an entrance to a part or harbour. Most harbours utilise buoys in their fairway for increased visibility.