The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) has revised the cargo handling target on National Waterways from an earlier estimate of 150 million tonne (MT) to 100 MT by 2021-22, according to an official.

A senior IWAI official told the media, “According to the latest projection, traffic on national waterways is expected to increase from 72 MT in 2018-19 to 100 MT by FY22.”

Inland waterways in India is ready to get a spin as a big shift in goods load from highways and railway is expected in the upcoming days. The Union Budget talked expressively on laying emphasis on pushing Ganga waterway project ahead.

IWAI, earlier this year, stated that the year 2017-18 saw cargo handling to the tune of 55 MT on all National Waterways. Also, given this trend, the 150 MT target for 2021-22 was likely to be achieved before the deadline.

The official said, the national waterways-1, which is the Haldia-Varanasi stretch on the Ganga, saw an increase in traffic from 5.48 MT in 2017-18 to 6.79 MT in 2018-19.

Earlier in 2016, the centre declared 106 national waterways in addition to the existing five making the total navigable inland waterways to 20,000 km in India.

Praveer Pandey, Chairman of Inland Waterways Authority of India told Logistics Insider, “The objective of the Jal Marg Vikas Project is the capacity augmentation of National Waterway-1 (river Ganga, from Varanasi to Haldia) to enable movement of cargo vessels of 2000 ton capacity. This includes the development of multimodal terminals with mechanised equipment handling facilities, adequate depth, River Information Stations, day and night navigation facilities etc.”