New Delhi:  In a bid to ease the burden on rail and road infrastructure, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has taken steps to fast-track the development and use of inland waterways by involving public and private sectors.
The National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) has agreed to use the inland waterways to transport three million metric tonnes of coal for Barh power project in Bihar.
A tripartite agreement has been signed between the NTPC, the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) and a private developer, which has led to competitive transportation rates for the NTPC, a PMO statement said.
It said a private sector investment of about Rs 650 crore has been committed with regard to the Farakka Power Project in West Bengal.
The waterways will be used to transport coal imported by NTPC for its power plants.
At a meeting chaired by Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister Pulok Chatterjee it was decided that the execution of coal handling facility at Jogighopa and rail connectivity will be taken up under the Non Lapsable Central Pool of Resources (NLCPR) scheme.
A slew of decisions taken at the inter-ministerial coordination committee meeting include a commitment by the Food Corporation of India to provide cargo commitment for three years for transportation of foodgrains to Tripura and Assam from Kolkata and within Assam.