Measures for Promotion of Transportation by Shipping

IAS Prelims 2023

As per report of Sub Group VIII (Inland Water Transport) of the Working Group on Ports and Shipping under the National Transport Development Policy Committee (NTDPC), the proportionate share of cargo transportation through different modes in the country is as below:
Road: 60%
Railway: 25%
Oil and Gas Pipelines: 6 %
Coastal Shipping: 6 %
Other modes such as like ropeways etc: 2.6%
Inland Water Transport: 0.4%
Total: 100%

The Government has taken the following steps for promotion of transportation through coastal shipping and national waterways:

Coastal Shipping:
i) Moderating the manning and technical requirements for vessels operating within Indian territorial waters through a River Sea Vessel notification.
ii) Declaring the inland vessel limits for facilitating coastal trade operations.
iii) Issuing coastal shipping rules for coastal vessels operating within 20 miles off the coast.
iv) Exempting Customs and Central Excise duty on bunker fuels (IFO 180 and IFO 380 CST) by Indian flagged coastal container vessels.
v) Bringing abatement of service tax at 70% for coastal shipping at par with road and rail.
vi) Simplification of customs procedures.
vii) Cabotage relaxation for specialised vessel and increase in discount by major port in port charges from 40% to 80% for two years w.e.f. 02/09/2016.

National Waterways:
i) The Government has declared 111 National Waterways (NWs), which includes five
National Waterways declared earlier, under the National Waterways Act, 2016.

ii) National Waterway -1 (Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hooghly river system from Allahabad to Haldia), National Waterway – 2 (River Brahmaputra from Dhubri to Sadiya) and National Waterway-3 (West Coast Canal from Kottapuram to Kollam along with Udyogmandal and Champakara Canals) have been developed with fairway, navigational aids, jetties and terminals with mechanized equipment handling facilities for loading and unloading of cargo. These waterways are operational and vessels are plying on these NWs.

iii). The Jal Marg Vikas project for capacity augmentation of NW-1 from Haldia to Varanasi is being implemented, with the technical and financial support of the World Bank. The project envisages various sub-projects such as fairway development, navigational aids, construction of multi-modal terminals at Varanasi, Sahibganj and Haldia, construction of new navigational lock at Farakka, bank protection work, movement of LNG vessels, LNG bunkering facilities etc. Loan negotiations for the project have been concluded recently.

iv) National Waterway-4 (Kakinada- Puducherry canals along with Godavari to Krishna rivers) : On the stretch between Muktyala to Vijayawada of NW – 4 dredging works to remove shallow patches has been awarded.

v) National Waterway -5 (East Coast Canal integrated with Brahmani river and Mahanadi delta rivers): The dredging operation in the non-tidal stretch between Erada to Padanipal has commenced. Lease agreement has been signed for 6.79 acres of land for setting up of temporary terminal facility at Erada. Scheme for developing the terminal with floating pontoon equipped with suitable cranes alongwith associated civil engineering work has been sanctioned and work for construction of pontoon with gangway has been awarded.

vi) National Waterway -16 (River Barak): Lakhipur – Bhanga stretch of river Barak (121 Km) has been declared as National Waterway -16. The development of this waterway is proposed in two stages. The stretch from Silchar to Bhanga (71km) is proposed under Phase – I and the remaining stretch from Silchar to Lakhipur (50km) in Phase II. Work orders for development of fairway and for providing navigational aids in the stretch between Silchar – Bhanga have been awarded.

vii) Detailed project report for development of Kosi (NW-58), Gandak (NW-37), Ghaghra
(NW-40), Mandovi (NW -68), Zuari (NW -111), and Cumberjua (NW-27) have been prepared.