New Delhi: The government on Wednesday approved the Rs 5,369-crore Jal Vikas Marg Project (JVMP) for enhanced navigation on the Haldia-Varanasi stretch of National Waterway-1 (NW-1).
The project falls in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and major districts under its ambit are Varanasi, Ghazipur, Ballia, Buxar, Chhapra, Vaishali, Patna, Begusarai, Khagaria, Munger, Bhagalpur, Sahibganj, Musrhidabad, Pakur, Hoogly and Kolkata.
"The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its approval for implementation of the Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP) for capacity augmentation of navigation on NW-1 at a cost of Rs 5,369.18 crore with the technical assistance and investment support of the World Bank," the Ministry of Shipping said in a statement.
The project is expected to be completed by March, 2023 and will provide an alternative mode of transport that will be environment friendly and cost effective.
The project will contribute in bringing down the logistics cost in the country, the government said adding that it will boost infrastructure development like multi-modal and inter-modal terminals, Roll on - Roll off (Ro-Ro) facilities, ferry services, navigation aids.
"NW-1 development & operations will lead to direct employment generation to the tune of 46,000 and indirect employment of 84,000 will be generated by vessel construction industry," the statement said.
About the funding part, the government said IBRD loan component will be Rs 2,512 crore (USD 375 million) while the Government of India counterpart funds will be to the tune of Rs 2,556 crore (USD 380 million), to be sourced from budgetary allocation and proceeds from bond issue.
Private sector participation under PPP mode would be Rs 301 crore (USD 45 million).
Based on the findings of this study, a proposal for development of NW-1 at an estimated cost of Rs 4,200 crore (USD 700 million) was taken up for seeking technical assistance and investment support from the World Bank to the tune of USD 350 million in three phases.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had announced the JMVP in Budget Speech in July 2014 to enable commercial navigation of at least 1500 tonne vessels on the Ganga river.