The Uttar Pradesh government plans to utilize eight rivers as inland waterways to improve connectivity and transportation of goods. The rivers that will be used for this purpose include the Yamuna, Gomti, Assi, Ghaghra, Rapti Betwa, Chambal, and the Varuna. This move aligns with the BJP-led Centre’s Maritime India Vision 2030, which aims to increase the share of inland water transport to five percent by 2030.
The Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government is determined to support this plan. The proposed waterways authority will consist of officials from various departments, including transport, irrigation, and tourism. Initially, the transport department officials have been assigned the task of surveying prospective waterways. Inland water transport is considered the most cost-effective mode for bulk cargo, such as coal, iron ore, cement, food grains, and fertilizers. The plan is still in the survey phase, and the extent of its implementation will be determined based on the survey’s findings and feasibility on different rivers.
The government aims to increase the share of inland water transport from two percent to five percent. The recent Ganga Vilas luxury cruise has given momentum to the plan of utilizing waterways for public transport. In addition to cargo, the government also plans to improve public mobility through water taxis on feasible rivers. The survey will be followed by fairway development to ensure sufficient depth for the movement of water taxis and cargo boats. Work is already underway under the Maritime India Vision 2030 to improve the depth of the National Waterway 1 on the Ganga. The government is expediting the work on waterways with the formation of an inland waterways authority, which is expected to be approved by the state cabinet in the coming months.