IWAI plans trial run in ‘National Waterways-5’ in next 90 days

Bhubaneswar: Set to create a joint venture (JV) for speedy implementation of the proposed ‘National Waterways-5’, the Inland Waterway Authority of India (IWAI) and Odisha government on Saturday decided to go for trial run on the water route within next three months.

“We have been making all preparations to go for trial run on the ‘National Waterways-5’ in three months. The state government has agreed to provide all support for the smooth trial run on this route,” IWAI Chief Engineer S Dandpat said after a meeting with state government officials.

Observing the state was keen to develop the ‘National Waterways-5′, a senior official in the Directorate of Ports here said a joint venture is to be signed among the state-run IDCO (Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation), IWAI, Paradip Port Trust and Dhamra Port Company Limited.

The JV would ensure that the proposed waterway project, incurring an investment of Rs 2,000 crore, would be completed within three months’ time, he said.

Stating that first phase of National Waterways-5 would connect Pankpal-Jokadia to Dhamra and Paradip covering about 200 kilometre stretch, Dandpat said the state government has agreed to maintain at least 150 cusecs (cubic feet per second) of water in Mahanadi and other rivers for smooth running of vessels.

Dandpat said once the trial run was successful, the ‘Waterways-5’ would make coal transport possible from Talcher, industrial products from Kalinga Nagar and minerals from Sukinda mines area.

Earlier, the state government in June this year had signed a MoU with the IWAI, Paradip Port and Dhamra Port for implementation of the proposed waterways. IWAI is the nodal agency to implement such projects across India.

The total length of NW-5 is 588 km that comprises 91 km inside West Bengal.