The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) has experienced significant growth, with their revenue increasing from Rs 1,517 crore to Rs 5,210.81 crore in nine years. They have also seen a 16% growth in cargo traffic, which has increased by 315% since 2014-15. IWAI Chairman Sanjay Bandopadhyay celebrated this growth and highlighted the international cooperation they have established with countries such as Bangladesh, Myanmar, and Bhutan.
The IWAI is currently constructing an intermodal terminal in Kalughat, Bihar, which is set to be completed in December 2023. Union Minister for Ports Sarbananda Sonowal believes that this terminal will revolutionize freight transport by connecting Nepal to Kalughat via road and then to Haldia through waterways. This development will greatly improve transportation in the region.
Additionally, an agreement has been signed between IWAI and the Uttar Pradesh government to operate electric catamarans in Varanasi, Ayodhya, and Mathura. This initiative aims to enhance transportation options and promote sustainable practices in the area.
Nepal’s Registrar of the Nepal Shipping Office, Bipin Rajbhandari, expressed gratitude towards the Indian government for signing a special trade agreement that will facilitate smoother movement of goods through waterways. He believes that this agreement will create greater opportunities for trade and tourism cooperation between the two countries, as well as contribute to capacity building and training in the maritime sector.
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