In a bid to save on fuel cost and promote water transport, the Shipping Ministry is preparing a blue-print on the ambitious plan to ship vehicles made in Chennai to Gujarat via sea route and from there to Delhi via road.
"The Ministry has been asked to prepare a report on the feasibility of transport of vehicles manufactured in the South, from Chennai-based ports to Gujarat-based ports and automobiles built in Delhi and surrounding regions to South from Gujarat-based ports," a Shipping Ministry official said.
Last week, Road, Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari had asked officials to come up with a report in this regard.
"Officials have been asked to come up with a report for shipping vehicles manufactured in Chennai from Ports in Chennai to Mundra in Gujarat and from there to Delhi via road to minimise fuel cost," Mr Gadkari had said.
The same route could be adopted for transfer of vehicles from manufactures like Maruti to South, he said.
The minister also said that waterways were a fuel efficient mode of transport with a cost of barely 55 paise a km as against Rs. 1.5 on transportation through road, besides it being environment-friendly.
from Chennai, Toyota from Bangalore and Honda from Delhi.
India has 12 major ports - Kandla, Mumbai, JNPT, Marmugao, New Mangalore, Cochin, Chennai, Ennore, VO Chidambarnar, Visakhapatnam, Paradip and Kolkata (including Haldia) which handle approximately 61 per cent of the country's total cargo traffic besides about 200 non-major ports in control of states.
Meanwhile, a screening committee has accorded approval for a World Bank study for making 1,620 km waterways from Kolkata to Allahabad.
Inland waterways comprising of rivers, lakes, canals, creeks, backwaters etc extend to about 14,500 km in the country. However, potential of this mode of transport has not been fully exploited so far.
So far, India has five declared waterways besides the new 121-Km Barak in Assam but some of them are yet to be operationalised.