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Several big firms line up for using National Waterway-1

Varanasi  : 11/2/19;World’s largest container shipping company Maersk Line will move 16 containers on river Ganga (National Waterway-1) from Varanasi to Kolkata tomorrow. Maersk moves 12 million containers yearly across the globe. The firm is onboard India’s inland waterways for the first time.

Maersk moving containers on river Ganga follows similar movements already done by firms like PepsiCo, Emami Agrotech, IFFCO Fertilizers, Dabur India. With Maersk on board, the cargo from the hinterland will move directly to and from Bangladesh  and rest of the world through Bay of Bengal.

On November 12, 2018, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi dedicated India’s first riverine multimodal terminal on river Ganga (National Waterway-1) at Varanasi to the nation. On the same day, he also received country’s first container cargo that travelled on river Ganga (National Waterway-1) from Kolkata to Varanasi. The twin events marked watershed moments in the development of Inland Water Transport (IWT) in India and also broke grounds for a spurt in business activities on National Waterway-1.

Container cargo transport comes with several inherent advantages. Even as it reduces the handling cost, allows easier modal shift, reduces pilferages and damage, it also enables cargo owners to reduce their carbon footprints.

The government is developing NW-1 (River Ganga) under JMVP from Haldia to Varanasi (1390 Km) with the technical and financial assistance of the World Bank at an estimated cost of Rs 5369 crore. The project would enable commercial navigation of vessels with capacity of 1500-2,000 DWT.

The Union Minister for Shipping Shri Nitin Gadkari had flagged off a consignment of Maruti cars from Varanasi to Haldia in August, 2016. Since then pilot movements on National Waterways are currently being done on various stretches. More than 15 of them have already been successfully completed, including integrated movements through NW-1 (Ganga), Indo-Bangladesh Protocol Route and NW-2 (Brahmaputra).

About Ashok Palit

Ashok Palit has completed his graduation from Upendranath College Soro, Balasore and post graduation from Utkal University in Odia Language and literture.. He has also carved out a niche for himself as a scribe of eminence after joining the profession in 1988. He is also an independent media production professional. He brings loads of experience to Advanced Media, Ashok Palit as a cineaste has been active in film criticism for over three decades. As a film society activist, he soared to eminence for his profound commitment to the art film appreciation and aesthetics of cinema. His mode of discourse is often erudite but always lucid and comprehensible marked by a perfect acumen so rare in the field. A film aesthete with an immense fond of critical sensibilities, he wrote about growth and development of odia cinema in New Indian Express, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Asian Age and Screen. He has been working as an Editor for Cine Samaya from 2002-2004.. He had made solid contribution on cinema in many odia Dailies and weekly such as Samaj, Prajatantra, Dharatri, Samaya, Satabadi, and weekly Samaya.

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