Saturday, 25 January 2014

Project for Development of National Waterway-4 Launched

The Union Government has decided to take up development of the stretch of 37 Kms of the National Waterway-four (NW-4) between Sholinganallur to Kalpakkam in South Buckingham Canal. 

Launching the project the Minister of Shipping Shri G.K. Vasan said that the main components of the project include dredging and excavation to develop navigational channel, construction of three terminals and navigational locks, replacement of one existing bridge at Kelambakkam, and installation of navigational aids. Over Rs.123crores has been sanctioned by the central government for the purpose and the project is expected to be completed in two years. 

The minister said that other stretches of the National Waterway-4, which covers the states of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, would also be taken up for development subsequently. NW-4 covers a total length of 1078 Km consisting of Kakinada-Puducherry canal systems integrated with Godavari and Krishna Rivers. 

Also inaugurating an office of the Inland Waterways Authority of India at the campus of the Indian Maritime University in Chennai today, the minister said the project will ease out the transportation problems in Chennai suburbs to a great extent besides promoting tourist movement to important tourist spots at Mahabalipuram and Puducherry. The development of South Buckingham Canal can also improve the drainage system during flood season in Chennai city. 

The canal will be developed to make it suitable for safe navigation of cargo vessels up to 300 ton capacity for transportation of general cargo like food grain, fertilizers, building materials, etc.

 The canal shall also be suitable for movement of the passenger and tourist vessels of higher capacity from Chennai to Mahabalipuram and in future upto Puducherry and vice versa. The terminals at Shollinganallur, Mutukkad and Mahabalipuram have been planned for construction and will be operated with necessary facilities for cargo, passenger and tourist vessels. 

Earlier addressing the 5th Shipping Conclave organised by the Southern India Chamber of Commerce and Industry Shri Vasan said that the maritime education and training has been another area of focus for the Shipping Ministry. The aim has been to develop quality trained manpower for the industry while at the same time opening another avenue for career to the youth of our country both in the domestic and international marine sectors.

The minister said that he had the pleasure of opening the Thoothukudi campus of the prestigious Maritime Training Institute of Shipping Corporation of India in September last year and the Karaikal Campus of the IMU earlier this week with this objective. The government also has planned to open campuses of the Indian maritime university in all coastal states of India, the minister added. 

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