IWAI sets out on large public outreach along Ganga for Jal Marg Vikas Project

Even as the work on the development of Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP) on Ganga is going on in full steam, a team of IWAI held a two day long intensive advocacy and communications outreach at Sahibganj and Rajmahal in Jharkhand. The public meetings are being held as part of a month-long dialogue initiative on the entire stretch of JMVP (Varanasi to Haldia) that began in July.

The IWAI is constructing a Rs 280. 90 crore multi modal terminal at Sahibganj in Jharkhand besides a proposed ship repair facility and a freight village. These interventions are set to change the socio-economic landscape of the land-locked region which has missed the development bandwagon. 

More than 300 residents participated in the meetings held at Samdanala in Sahibganj and Singhi Dalan in Rajmahal. The has abundant cargo that can be shipped through JMVP up to the Haldia port and also to Varanasi. Participants, that included people from diverse backgrounds – NGO, Panchayat Members, Village Pradhans, Farmers, Fisherman, Boatmen and other local community members showed great enthusiasm to the prospect of using the Ganga waterway that will help push the rural economy.

The IWAI Communications team further disseminated information on the Rs 5369 crore Jal Marg Vikas Project (Varanasi to Haldia on river Ganga). The project is going to create more than 1.5 Lakh direct and indirect employment in the four states it traverses (UP, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal) and the dialogue process has been initiated to bring the beneficiaries to the fold of inclusive development.   

The IWAI is working with State Livelihood Missions for imparting necessary skill training for the youth, boatmen and other community members so that they could benefit from the employment opportunities, informed the IWAI officials who conducted the outreach programmes.

The multi-modal terminal at Sahibganj is an important component of the development of the National Waterway-1 from Varanasi to Haldia, a distance of 1390 km. The state of the art terminal at Sahibganj will have a cargo handling capacity of 2.24 Million Tons Per Annum (MTPA) on completion in 2019. The terminal facilities will include berthing space for two vessels, stockyard, conveyor belt system with hoppers, barge loaders, shore protection works, roads, ramps, parking area, and terminal buildings. A Roll-on Roll-off (Ro-Ro) terminal at Sahibganj will provide critical connectivity with Bihar at Manihari. About 100 trucks have already started using the facility at Sahibganj. Another Ro-Ro on Ganga at Rajmahal in Jharkhand connects Manickchak in West Bengal.  The crossing of trucks through Ro-Ro facility saves a lot of time, cost and fuel in road transport.

The construction of the multi-modal terminal at Sahibganj will provide critical last mile connectivity to the hinterland of Jharkhand. The state is richly endowed with mineral resources. The multi-modal terminal at Sahibganj will play an important role in transportation of domestic coal from the local mines in Rajmahal area to various thermal power plants located along NW-1. Other than coal, stone chips, fertilizers, cement and sugar are other commodities expected to be transported through the terminal.

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