The Rs 169.59 Crore Multi Modal Terminal (MMT) being built at Varanasi by Inland Waterways Authority of India under Jal Marg Vikas project is set to be completed by November this year. This would be a major landmark for the project. The construction of the Rs 280. 90 Crore MMT at Sahibganj is to be completed by May, 2019, and the one at Haldia, being constructed at a cost of Rs 517.36 Crore, is scheduled to be completed by December 2019. In addition to this the work on the Rs 359.20 Crore state-of-the-art navigational lock at Farakka is to be completed By June, 2019. Contract for maintenance dredging in the Farakka-Kahalgaon stretch of the river was awarded in April, 2018, for Rs 150 Crore, and work on this has started. The work for construction of two Inter-Modal Terminals (IMT)on NW-1, at Ghazipur in Uttar Pradesh and Kalughat in Bihar will be awarded this year.
Jal Marg Vikas is a Rs 5369 Crore World Bank aided project on National Waterway 1 (River Ganga), aimed at augmenting the navigational capacity of the Varanasi to Haldia stretch of the river, to enable commercial navigation of at least 1500-2000 ton vessels.
IWAI has also initiated development work on eight new National Waterways. Tendering for these will be done during the current financial year. In addition to this, Detailed Project Reports (DPR) are being finalised for 18 new NW, DPR studies have been awarded for 2, and hydrographic and feasibility studies are underway for 37 new NW.
Besides commercial development, IWAI is also working to facilitate pilgrimage movement during the 2019 Kumb Mela on the lines of facilitation it has been providing at Ganga Sagar Mela and Guru Purab at Patna Sahib.