A bill to develop 101 waterways has been passed by Lok Sabha today with government saying it was aiming to garner Rs 1 lakh crore to fund projects to provide low-cost river transportation as ‘Make-in-India’ dream will not be realised if logistics cost are not reduced. The House passed the bill by voice vote after approval of the official amendments, mostly of technical nature, and rejecting an amendment proposed by N K Premachandran.
Gadkari said his ministry is working to develop three more major ports, besides the existing 12 as the aim is to reduce the logistic cost with a view to promote exports, generate employment, boost tourism and growth. The Minister has added that Make-in-India dream cannot be realised if logistics cost are not reduced. So waterways are being given a priority. We want to work with state government support. If some state government says they do not want to work, we will not work. We will work with cooperation of states.
The Bill seeks to develop 101 waterways across the country and is aimed at providing a cheaper mode of transport and reducing traffic burden on roads. The new 101 new inland waterways will be in addition to the five existing National Waterways. The government has said promotion of waterways is a priority for this as it is a cheaper mode of transportation compared to roads and railways.
Gadkari said a major portion of the traffic in developed countries moves through waterways and that his Ministry has learnt from the “success stories” of countries like Holland and China.