Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will dedicate to the nation the newly constructed Multi-Modal Terminal on River Ganga at Varanasi on Monday, the 12th of November, 2018. This is the first of the three Multi-Modal Terminals and two Inter-Modal Terminals being constructed on the river. The MMTs are being built as part of the Government’s Jal Marg Vikas project that aims to develop the stretch of River Ganga between Varanasi to Haldi for navigation of large vessels upto1500-2000 tonnes weight, by maintaining a drought of 2-3 metres in this stretch of the river and setting up other systems required for safe navigation. The objective is to promote inland waterways as a cheaper and more environmentally friendly means of transport, especially for cargo movement. Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) is the project Implementing Agency.
The Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP) is being implemented on the Haldia-Varanasi stretch of National Waterway-1 (NW-1) with the technical assistance and investment support of the World Bank, at an estimated cost of Rs. 5,369.18 crores (USD 800 million, of which USD 375 is IBRD loan) on a 50:50 sharing basis between Government of India and the World Bank. The project entails construction of 3 multimodal terminals (Varanasi, Sahibganj and Haldia); 2 intermodal terminals; 5 Roll On – Roll Off (Ro-Ro) terminal pairs; new navigation lock at Farakka; assured depth dredging; integrated vessel repair & maintenance facility, Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS), River Information System (RIS), river training & river conservancy works.
Salient features of Varanasi Multi-Modal Terminal (MMT) are as follows
- First Multi-Modal Terminal on National Waterway -1.
- Land: 33.34 hectares.
- Cost of Phase-I of MMT: Rs. 206.84 cr.
- Terminal capacity: 1.26 MPTA
- Start date of the project: June, 2016
- Completion date of the project: November 2018
The following are the main ingredients of the project, which are ready for operations:
- Jetty: Length 200 m x Width 42 m with berthing and mooring facility.
- 02 Mobile Harbour Cranes
- Approach Road
- Internal Road
- Stone Pitching Works and bank protection
- Shell structure of ancillary buildings, worker amenity building ready
Operation, management and further development of the Multi-Modal Terminal is proposed to be entrusted to an Operator on PPP model. Selection of the PPP Operator through an International Competitive Bidding is at an advanced stage and expected to be completed by December 2018.
The project of the multi-modal terminal and proposed Freight Village at Varanasi are expected to generate 500 direct employment and more than 2000 indirect employment opportunities.
Prime Minister will also receive India’s first container vessel that sailed from Kolkata on 30th October 2018, carrying cargo belonging to PEPSICO (India) from Kolkata to Varanasi. Container movement on an inland waterway in India is being done for the first time post-independence. The IWAI vessel, MV RABINDRANATH TAGORE is transporting 16 containers equivalent to 16 truckloads of food and snacks and is expected to reach Varanasi on 11th November 2018. It will make its return journey with fertilizers from IFFCO.
In a separate event the same day, Prime Minister will also inaugurate two National Highways projects – the Babatpur-Varanasi Airport road and Varanasi Ring Road. In addition to this, he will also inaugurate some sewerage projects in the city and lay a foundation stone for a project under NamamiGange programme of National Mission for Clean Ganga.