Survey, trial runs underway on Dhamara-Rajnagar waterway

Kendrapara: The process to make the Dhamara-Rajnagar waterway operational has begun. Survey work and trials are underway on the waterway, which is part of the National Waterway-5 (NW-5) project being implemented by Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI).

As part of the trial run, ship MV Lal Bahadur Shastri, which began its journey from West Bengal towards Dhamra, has arrived at Rajnagar via Jaynagar and Mangala Gadi. According to sources, the ship will depart towards Padanipali via Aul.

“588 km of waterways within Odisha and West Bengal were declared as NW-5 by the central government in the year 2008. Out of this, 497 km of waterways, including rivers and canals, lie in Odisha. The preliminary development phase is underway. We have built a temporary terminal from Sujanpur barrage to Yerwada. Through this terminal we are trying to move cargo on ships between Dhamra and Paradip,” said IWAI deputy project director Abhinas Raul.

“There is a need to connect Keonjhar – the heartland of minerals resources in the state – with ports in a bid to ensure value addition. For this, waterways can be used as a part of the multi-mode transport infrastructure including roadways and railways. In view of this, the NW-5 assumes importance,” added Raul.

“Moreover, this waterway will open up channels of import of minerals and raw materials and we have plans to set up a permanent port near Kalinganagar,” Raul stated adding that the project is in its preliminary stage and there is no information about its completion deadline at this level.