Work on Haldia and Sahibganj MMTs to start by November

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Kolkata, Aug 16 (IANS) Construction of multi modal 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 construction work for building multi modal 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.

“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.

“All these projects are expected to be completed in 26 months from the date of award,” he said.

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 this year.

“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,” he said.

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 cargos, Verma said. The authority plans to appoint consultants for studying the design of shallow draft vessels and commercialisation of waterways, he said.

–IANS

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