HYDERABAD: The Central government has decided to convert a total of 101 rivers including river Godavari into waterways across the country soon including Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
Waterway will be developed from Basara in Adilabad district to Chennai to transport goods and passengers. Accordingly, Telangna and AP state governments have decided to redesign some of the barrages and bridges on Godavari river for smooth navigation. The AP government has decided to change the design of Polavaram making it suitable for the waterway. On its part, the Telangana government will see that designs of barrages like Yellampalli, Kantalapalli and Kaleswaram will pave way for navigation. The designs of bridges coming on Godavari at Jagityal, Bornapalli, Bhadrachalam and other places too will be prepared keeping in mind the proposed waterway.
“Union minister for road transport, highways and shipping Nitin Gadkari has said that AP government too has decided to change the design of Polavaram for navigation,” roads and buildings minister Tummala Nageswara Rao said here on Thursday.
Transporting goods and passengers through waterway is not new to Telangana. The British and the French used Godavari to transport goods from Venkatapuram and Cherla to Chennai. Dummugudem anicut was designed for navigation purpose in those days. However, when the road and rail transport was developed the use of waterway was stopped.
Now, the Centre wants to develop the waterways in 101 river stretches, as it is economical. “It will cost Rs 4 for rail and Rs 3 for road transportation per km. The waterway will cost just 0.50 paise to Re 1,” Nageswara Rao said.
A Bill on inland waterways development aimed at promoting the low-cost mode of transport would be introduced in the next session of the Parliament.
Earlier, the Centre included only Buckingham Canal in Andhra Pradesh to develop a waterway to Chennai. With the request from the Telangana government, the Centre has decided to include Godavari waterway in the Bill, Nageswara Rao said.