Collectors asked to make survey of ghats along waterways

Bhubaneswar: In a bid to expedite the work for the National Waterway-5, the Odisha government today directed the district collectors to undertake survey of river banks to identify the ferry ghat points.

The direction was issued by chief secretary A P Padhi while presiding over a meeting attended by Chairman of Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) Nutan Guha Biswas.

“The Collectors of the concerned districts have been asked to undertake survey of the villages along the river banks and identify the points that are generally used by the people for crossing the river,” Padhi told reporters after the meeting.

IWAI chairperson Biswas assured that IWAI would provide all assistance for setting up the ghats on those points for carrying forward the river dredging works.

The issues relating to dredging of the river course, dumping of the dredged materials, transportation of the dredged materials, repair and maintenance of the embankment roads, protection of river banks, preparation of tender documents redesigning and development of the existing bridges coming on the waterway and other issues were discussed in the meeting.

It was decided to carry forward first phase of the project from Dhamara/Paradeep to Pankapala through Mangalagadi. The distance from Dhamara to Mangalagadi is around 28 kms and distance from Paradeep Port to Mangalagadi is around 67 kms. Distance from Mangalagadi to Pankapala is around 106 kms, an official said.

It was also discussed as how to customerise twelve Railway, NHAI, and PWD bridges on this stretch which would be redesigned for the waterway, he said.

The work in this stretch will be carried forward in close cooperation between State and Central agencies. A SPV has already been formed for the purpose involving Odisha government, Paradip Port Trust and Dhamara Port Trust. As per preliminary estimates, an amount of Rs 1243 crore will be invested in the project in next four years, the official said.

The proposed waterway (no-5) passes through rivers like Bramhani, Kharsua, Kani, Dhamara, Mantei, Mahanadi delta, and East coast canal spread over thestates of Odisha and West Bengal. Of the 588 kilometer stretch, 492 kilometers are in Odisha jurisdiction while remaining 91 kilometers is located in West Bengal.

The proposed waterway has been designed to provide connectivity between Paradep port, Dhamara ports, Kalinganagar Industrial cluster and Mahanadi coal field.