Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated India’s first Inland Multi-Modal Terminal Port on river Ganga at Ramnagar in Varanasi and received first container cargo belonging to PepsiCo. It is the first of four Multi-Modal Terminals being constructed on National Waterways-I (NW1) on River Ganga as part of World Bank-aided Jal Marg Vikas project of Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI).
- The other three terminals are under construction at Sahibganj, Haldia and Gazipur.
- It enables commercial navigation of vessels with capacity of 1500-2,000 DWT on river Ganga.
- The Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP) was approved in January 2017 for capacity augmentation of navigation on NW-1.
- It was approved at a cost of Rs 5369.18 crore with technical assistance and investment support of World Bank.
- Following this, IWAI in February 2018 had signed project agreement with World Bank for Jal Marg Vikas Project.
- World Bank provided USD375 million loan for the project.
Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP) :
- The project aims to enable commercial navigation of vessels with capacity of 1500 – 2000 tons on NW1.
- It includes development of fairway, multi-modal terminals at Varanasi, Haldia and Sahibganj, modern River Information System (RIS), strong river navigation system, Digital Global Positioning System (DGPS), night navigation facilities, construction of navigational lock at Farakka.
- It will result in environment-friendly, fuel-efficient and cost-effective alternative mode of transportation, especially for bulk, hazardous goods and over-dimensional cargo.