The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), a statutory body under the Ministry of Ports, Shipping & Waterways, Government of India, has issued an invitation for Expressions of Interest (EOI) to operate five National Waterways (NWs) in the state of Karnataka under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) mode.
Background: Unlocking the Potential of Inland Water Transport
Inland Water Transport (IWT) is recognized for its potential as an economic, reliable, safe, and environmentally friendly mode of transport. Modernizing inland waterways can reduce the need for heavy investments in rail and road infrastructure, foster regional trade, and significantly cut overall logistics costs. Over the past five years, cargo movement through designated NWs has witnessed substantial growth, reaching 126.15 million metric tons in 2022-2023.
Cargo Movement Details:
- 2018-2019: 72.30 MMT
- 2019-2020: 73.64 MMT
- 2020-2021: 83.61 MMT
- 2021-2022: 108.79 MMT
- 2022-2023: 126.15 MMT
The major contributors to cargo movement are the NWs in the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Goa, with other NWs also showing increased activity.
Recent Initiatives and Response
IWAI has recently undertaken various initiatives for the development of NWs, including the construction of multi-modal terminals, floating terminals, River Information Services (RIS), Ro-Ro services, and dredging across designated NWs. Expressions of Interest for the development of NWs in Gujarat and Maharashtra under the PPP mode have received a positive response from the market.
Opportunities in Karnataka
Given the success of these initiatives and the strategic location of Karnataka on the western coast, there are significant opportunities for both cargo movement and cruise tourism. With a vast coastline of 300 km and proximity to major ports such as New Mangalore Port Trust, Mormugao Port Trust, and Cochin Port Trust, Karnataka presents an attractive proposition.
Call for Proposals: Development of National Waterways in Karnataka
IWAI invites proposals for the development of the following National Waterways in Karnataka:
- NW-43 / GURUPUR RIVER:
- Defined Limits: Confluence of Netravathi river to confluence of Mangalore Port Bridge.
- NW-51 / KABINI RIVER:
- Defined Limits: Kabini Dam to Beeramballi.
- NW-52 / KALI RIVER:
- Defined Limits: Kodasalli Dam to confluence of Kali river with Arabian Sea near Sadashivgad bridge.
- NW-74 / NETRAVATHI RIVER:
- Defined Limits: Netravathi Dam, Dharmsthala to confluence with Arabian sea at Bengre.
- NW-90 / SHARAVATI RIVER:
- Defined Limits: Honnavar Port Sea Mouth to link at highway at Gersoppa.
About Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI)
Established in 1986, IWAI operates under the Ministry of Ports, Shipping & Waterways, Government of India. It is tasked with regulating and developing inland waterways for shipping and navigation. IWAI’s key responsibilities include the development, maintenance, and regulation of Inland Water Transport (IWT) in the country, specifically National Waterways (NW).
Key Legislation and Expansion
The IWAI primarily oversees the development activities in five National Waterways designated under the IWAI Act 1985. The Parliament of India, in 2016, enacted the National Waterways Act, declaring an additional 106 NWs across 24 states and union territories.
Interventions for Development
Among the various interventions, IWAI is actively involved in the construction of multi-modal terminals, setting up floating terminals, River Information Services (RIS), provision of Ro-Ro services, and dredging across designated NWs.