23 September 2016 Current Affairs: The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) has signed a contract with German company DST to design vessels suited to navigate the 1620 km stretch of National Waterway (NW-1).
Under the contract, DST will has been initially tasked to develop low draft vessels for transportation of cars that can carry upto 150-200 vehicles.
The contract has been awarded to DST in par with the objective of providing safe, environment friendly and economical mode of transportation through the waterway. The specially designed vessels will navigate on low drafts.
They will be having high carrying capacity and most importantly, will be environment friendly. DST will develop draft vessels keeping in view the difficult hydro-morphological characteristics of the river in the upper stretches of NW1 between Patna and Varanasi.
The Union Government is developing NW-1 (Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hooghly) under the Jal Marg Vikas Project, with assistance from the World Bank.
This project would enable commercial navigation of vessels with capacity of 1500-2,000 tons. The Phase-I of the project covers the Haldia-Varanasi stretch. The project includes development of fairway, multi-modal terminals at Haldia, Varanasi and Sahibganj, strengthening of river navigation system.
It also includes modern River Information System (RIS), Digital Global Positioning System (DGPS), modern methods of channel marking, night navigation facilities, construction of a new state of the art navigational lock at Farakka.