The Urban Development and Municipal Affairs minister of West Bengal, Firhad Hakim, has pledged full cooperation in the development of Inland Water Transport (IWT) in the state. The Transport department will work alongside the Urban Development and Municipality Affairs department to coordinate the project, which aims to make water transport more convenient for residents living near three key bridges in Kolkata. A meeting was held with officials from both departments and 44 municipalities in the Kolkata Metropolitan Area.
As part of the West Bengal Transport Inland Water Transport and Logistic and Spatial Development Project, the state Transport department will construct 15 new jetties. These additions will increase accessibility across rivers and provide improved services to citizens. The project also includes urban upgrades within 500 meters of each new jetty precinct. The total cost of the project is Rs 1021 crore, with the state contributing Rs 306 crore and a World Bank loan of Rs 715 crore. The project is expected to be completed within five years.
The assurance of full cooperation from the Urban Development and Municipal Affairs minister signifies the state government’s commitment to developing Inland Water Transport in West Bengal. By expanding the number of jetties and improving safety measures, the project aims to make water transport more accessible and convenient for residents near major bridges. The coordination between the Transport department and the Urban Development and Municipality Affairs department ensures a comprehensive approach to the project’s implementation. The inclusion of urban upgrades in the plan for each new jetty precinct further demonstrates the government’s commitment to enhancing overall infrastructure and services in the region. With a significant investment from the World Bank, the state government is poised to make substantial progress in improving the state’s water transport system over the next five years.