IWAI reviews Inland Water Transport in J&K

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Srinagar— A delegation from the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), Government of India headed by the Chairperson, Nutun Guha-Biswas of IWAI arrived here Monday.

The Chairperson reviewed Inland Water Transport in the State in a meeting with the State Government officials. She also had a meeting with the Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti alongwith the Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, Commissioner Secretary PHE/I&FC Department.

The Chairperson Inland Waterways Authority of India presented the feasibility report of Inland Water Transport of River Jhelum NW-49 to the Chief Minister.

The State Government appraised the Chairperson IWAI that there is scope of survey studies and formulation of DPRs for the four declared national waterways i.e. River Jhelum NW – 49, River Chenab – NW 26, River Ravi NW – 84 and River Indus NW – 49 to execute the same on ground to boost the Inland Water Transport besides, exploiting the tourism on the said National Waterway of the J&K State.

The State Government also stressed for the speedy completion of the feasibility and DPR formulation so as to have immediate socio-cultural, economic and environmental impacts. It was further decided during the meeting that the survey, studies and formulation of DPR of the declared national waterways of the State shall be taken up with the extended scope for all the National Waterways as by the IWAI as identified by the State.

The IWAI has already carried the hydrographic surveys and formulated a feasibility report for the declared portion of River Jhelum with a length of 110 kms i.e. from Sangam to Banyari (Wullar Entry). The State Government has identified its extended scope for Wullar Lake, from Sopore to Baramulla, from Sumbal to Manasbal Lake and from Shadipora to Duderhama (Qamar Sahib Shrine). The extended scope shall cover a length of 178 km of main River Jhelum besides a length of 60 kms on the peripheral lakes/tributaries.

The IWAI has been further requested by the State Government to conduct surveys, studies, feasibility and formulate DPRs for River Chenab, River Ravi as well as River Indus with their extended scopes identified by the State. The total length for the River Chenab declared NW – 26 is 53 kms and its extended scope has been recommended for a length of 50 kms. Similarly the Ravi River which flows through the three states Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and J&K has been declared as National waterways 84 with a length of 42 kms.

The State Government requested to explore possibility of Inland Water Transport on River Ravi for the reach flowing through the State of J&K for the purpose of Tourism and water sports. The Indus River has been declared NW – 46 for a length of 35 kms in Leh District. The state government has recommended to consider an extended length of about 50 kms in District Kargil.

The State Government assured the Chairperson that all possible help and cooperation shall be provided.

The Chairperson of IWAI along with Commissioner Secretary PHE, I&FC Department J&K state & Chief Engineer Kashmir I&FC Department Srinagar inspected the river Jhelum through water cruise and observed the whole stretch with keen interest. The officers of State Government explained the importance of the inland water transport and its relation with socio cultural and economic issues. She also inspected the various terminal points already constructed by the Government, for the initial trials in the Srinagar.

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