BHUBANESWAR: The State government will revive the waterway projects as the Covid-19 pandemic has shown signs of decline. Minister for Commerce and Transport Padmanabha Behera said as the situation has started improving, steps will be initiated to revive the projects.
The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) had identified six waterways in the State as the national waterways. Development of the first phase of National Waterway-5 was started and five more waterways were under consideration. Proposals for the waterways are there and will be taken up by the State government after discussion with all agencies, the Minister said.
The IWAI had declared the 588-km river system of Brahmani, Kharsuan, Mahanadi delta river, Matai river along the East Coast Canal as the National Waterway-5 in 2008, which was being planned for navigation. The IWAI had signed an MOU with the State government, Paradip Port Trust (PPT) and Dhamra port on June 30, 2014 for development of 200-km in the first phase.
Behera had a virtual meeting with Union Minister of State for Ports, Shipping and Waterways ML Mandaviya and suggested that work on the Waterway-5 should be expedited as it will help in transportation to ports and lessen the financial burden. He said transportation through waterways will help in the growth of industries in the State.
He informed the Union Minister that the government will give its opinion on the draft Indian Ports Bill, 2021 after consultation with all stakeholders. He said the provisions in the Odisha Maritime Board Act should also be included in the Bill by the Centre after consultation with the State government.