"We are going to tap waterways in a much bigger way. The new system, first of its kind in the country, will facilitate safe and accurate navigation on waterways and in turn boost imports and exports," Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister Gadkari said.
    
Inaugurating the river information system (RIS) for 145-km stretch of National Waterways 1 (phase 1 - Haldia to Farakka) on the Ganga here, the minister said it will monitor and track
the movement of ships, and its role for waterways will be like an ATC.
    
The minister said the phase-II of the system from Farakka to Patna and phase-III from Patna to Varanasi will also be implemented on a priority basis as efforts are on to develop the Ganga as a waterway.
    
"We have started Rs 4,200-crore projects on the Varanasi-Haldia stretch of the Ganga, which will maintain a draft of 3 metres to enable navigation of bigger ships," he said.
    
He likened the installation of an efficient and effective RIS on the Sagar-Farakka stretch to the existing facilities in countries such as the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, China and
the US.
    
As part of this project, vessels are being monitored by installing seven remote (base station sites) at Haldia, Garden Reach (GR) Jetty, Tribeni, Swaroopganj, Kumarpur, Ballia and Farakka at a cost of Rs 26.23 crore.

 

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