Work on Haldia and Sahibganj MMTs to start by November

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Kolkata, Aug 16 (IANS) Construction of multimodal terminals at Haldia in West Bengal and Sahibganj in Jharkhand, and development of Farakka navigation lock will start by November under the Jal Marg Vikas Project, an official said on Tuesday.

The National Waterway-1 (NW-1) is being developed under the Jal Marg Vikas Project on river Ganga between Allahabad and Haldia to cover a distance of 1,620 km.

The project is being implemented with technical and investment support from the World Bank over a period of six years at an estimated cost of Rs 4,200 crore. The half of the project cost is being borne by the Centre while World Bank would provide rest of the amount as a loan.

“The construction work for building multimodal terminals (MMT) at Haldia in West Bengal and Sahibganj in Jharkhand will be started by October-November this year,” said Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) Chairman Amitabh Verma.

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“The construction for Varanasi MMT has already started. The development of Farakka navigation lock will start by November.”

Verma said Varanasi MMT would have an investment of Rs 169 crore, Haldia MMT Rs 495 crore, Sahibganj MMT Rs 292 crore, and Farakka navigation lock Rs 350 crore.

The IWAI would offer dredging contracts for assured depth dredging between Farakka to Bhagalpur at an estimated cost of Rs 165 crore.

Verma said about 11 million cubic metre of dredging would be required to maintain three metre draft in the Varanasi-Farakka stretch and the three metre draft is sufficient to move vessels carrying upto 2,000 tonnes of cargo.

“All these projects are expected to be completed in 26 months from the date of award,” he said at the sidelines of the stakeholders conference on unlocking the potential of NW-1.

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With the development of waterway under the project, cargo movement will grow manifold. “An estimation shows about 20 million tonnes (mt) of cargo will be moved by 2020 in NW-1 only. In 2015-16, about 5.6 mt cargo was moved against a potential of 7.34 mt,” Authority’s Vice Chairman Pravir Pandey told reporters here.

In addition, the authority, under the project, is expected to finalise its decision to build terminals at Ghazipur in Uttar Pradesh and Kalughat near Patna by November, 2016.

“We expect to be able to firm up our decisions for building terminals at Ghazipur and Kalugaht by November. A third terminal at Tribeni in West Bengal is also planned as there is demand but we are not sure about it,” Verma said.

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He said Kalughat terminal is expected to be completed in the next three years. The IWAI is exploring public-private-partnership (PPP) mode for handling logistics between Garden Reach jetty and Kalughat terminal.

“We have Garden Reach jetty and will build up Kalughat in three years’ time. We have invited expressions of interest from private players to install logistics equipment at Garden Reach jetty as well as at Kalughat terminal,” he said.

The objective is to develop a waterway for Nepal-bound cargo, Verma said. The authority plans to appoint consultants for studying the design of shallow draft vessels and commercialisation of waterways, he said.



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