Code No: TIFAC:V:05:ESDRPrice: 1500 Category: Waterways
Summary : The share of water transport, one of the most energy-efficient medium, is now only about 6.5 per cent. The growth rate of Inland Water Transport (IWT) has also been very slow (3%) compared to road transport 8.8%. Some of the major constraints are : Navigational hazards due to bank erosion, siltation etc; shallow water and narrow width of rivers; lack of adequate navigational aids, etc.
In addition to pointing out actions required to fully utilise some of the existing IWT's such as Ganga - Bhagirathi - Hooghly river systems & Brahmaputra, the Task Force envisages possibility of developing "Smart Waterways".
Smart waterways should have sufficient navigable depth and width and also navigable throughout the year with atleast 18 hours a day. The technology imperatives required for this are also discussed in the report. The report has also made an attempt to project volume of traffic for IWT upto 2010-11. There are considerable challenges posed for hydraulic and civil engineering, electronics and shipping technologies.