'Industrial Enclaves Will Boost Waterway Project'
BALASORE: Odisha, which is included in National Waterway (NW)-V project, will have a waterway linking two major ports with the industrially rich Kalinga Nagar and Talcher-Angul through the connecting rivers and canals at a cost of nearly `2,000 crores.
The experts, who welcomed the recent move of the State Government which inked an MoU for the NW-V project on June 30, have demanded industrial enclaves along the banks of canals and rivers having large basins to allow the industrial units to have their captive berths for cargo handling.
Seafarer Prasanta Kumar Padhi said instead of setting up industrial corridors along road networks or railway lines, the primary thrust should be given to set up industrial enclaves along the canals and rivers with large basins in between. It will help the industrial units along these waterways set up their captive berths or jetties for cargo handling which will reduce their logistics cost, he added.
Captain Nakiran Veluswamy, senior vice-president of a shipping company, which moves tonnes of bulk cargo, said captive ports for large industrial units can obviate the frequent maintenance. “We have to undergo in the present port structure which adds upto the cost of finished products thereby making our country’s product uncompetitive,” he said. Veluswamy, however, lauded Posco’s plan for setting up captive port at Jatadhari.
In spite of the nation having water on the east, west and south, the logistics cost is higher than the international cost. Water transport and inland navigation can cut down the logistics cost which hovers around 28 to 30 per cent in the nation compared to international cost of 10 to 12 per cent, Veluswamy added.
Captain Balaram Mohapatra, CEO of a company, which moves containers across the seas, said policies must be framed to move to full containerisation as 65 per cent world’s cargo moves through container. Small feeder container vessels and mini-bulk carrier moving through the canal and river linkage system can increase industrial growth in interior India, he added.
Hydrographer UC Mohanty maintained that suitable river training by building spurs can achieve navigability of all the rivers. Its bright example is Mississippi, which is navigable by big ships for more than 1000 kms right upto Baton Rouge (capital of the American State of Louisiana) with industrial units lined up all along its bank. In fact, water transport is at least one-fourth to one-fifth of road transport and one-third cheaper than rail transport, he informed.