Economy

Inland water transport gets a boost as NTPC, FCI commit cargoes

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on January 28, 2012

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In order to fast track the development of the inland waterways for transporting bulk cargo, the Prime Minister Office has pushed for private and public sector partnership. To begin with a series of agreements were initiated at a meeting of the inter-ministerial co-ordination committee, according to an official statement issued here on Saturday.

It was agreed that NTPC will provide long-term cargo commitment for three million tonne of coal for Barh power project once all its five units are operational by 2016-17, while the execution of coal handling facility at Jogighopa and rail connectivity will be taken up under the Non-Lapsable Central Pool of Resources scheme.

“The initiative will harness potential of inland waterways in transporting bulk cargo such as coal, foodgrains, fertilisers, project cargo, fly ash, over dimensional cargo and containers at competitive cost for the public and private sector companies.

“Adequate use of waterways will also ease the burden on rail and road infrastructure,” the statement said.

Cargo commitment

Among other decisions, it was also concluded that the Food Corporation of India will provide a three-year cargo commitment for transportation of foodgrains to Tripura and Assam from Kolkata and within Assam, while ONGC and Oil India will convey a firm commitment of cargo through waterways in two weeks to the Inland Waterways Authority of India. Concor will also provide a firm commitment for transportation part of their container cargo from Pandu. “The Ministry of Shipping will consider providing additional money, if need be, to ensure night navigation facilities on the Indo-Bangladesh Protocol route. The progress on these decisions will be reviewed in two months time by the Principal Secretary to PM,” the statement said.

The Ministry of External Affairs will try to extend the period of Trade and Transit Protocol beyond March when vessel operators come for renewal. Also, efforts shall be made for early completion of Ashuganj multi-modal port by Bangladesh.

This follows the signing of a tripartite agreement on the Farakka Power Project between NTPC, Inland Waterways Authority of India and a private developer. With a committed investment of Rs 650 crore by the private entity, this deal will lead to competitive transportation rates for NTPC.

> roudra.b@thehindu.co.in

Published on January 28, 2012
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