Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated the first multi-modal terminal built on the river Ganga in Varanasi, India.
Modi also received India's first container vessel that sailed from Kolkata on the newly-developed inland waterway carrying cargo belonging to food and beverages giant PepsiCo India.
This is the first of the three Multi Modal Terminals and two Inter Modal Terminals being constructed on the river.
The MMTs are being built as part of the Government’s Jal Marg Vikas project that aims to develop the stretch of River Ganga between Varanasi to Haldi for navigation of large vessels upto1500-2000 tonnes weight, by maintaining a drought of 2-3 metres in this stretch of the river and setting up other systems required for safe navigation.
The objective is to promote inland waterways as a cheaper and more environment friendly means of transport, especially for cargo movement.
Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) is the project Implementing Agency
The Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP) is being implemented on the Haldia-Varanasi stretch of National Waterway-1 (NW-1) with the technical assistance and investment support of the World Bank, at an estimated cost of USD 800 million, of which USD 375 is an IBRD loan on a 50:50 sharing basis between Government of India and the World Bank.
The project entails construction of 3 multimodal terminals (Varanasi, Sahibganj and Haldia).
Additionally 2 intermodal terminals, 5 Ro-Ro terminal pairs, new navigation lock at Farakka, assured depth dredging, integrated vessel repair and maintenance facilities are all part of the project.
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