The Inland Waterways Authority of India’s (IWAI) projects for the Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP) on NW-1 are on track and it may drop plans for further bond issue in the wake of government allowing it access to Central Road Fund. “All our projects are mostly on schedule and they would be completed by 2019 with respective state governments. Bugetary support of around Rs 2000 per annum from the Central Roads Funds has come as a big boost. So, we may not require any further fund raising of our own during the current fiscal or even later,” IWAI vice-chairman Parvir Pandey told PTI. IWAI had announced that it would raise Rs 1000 crore via infrastructure bonds having soverign guarentee and in the first tranche it had raised Rs 340 crore through its maiden issue in March of FY 17 at sub-seven per cent interest. “The remaining Rs 660 crore can be raised in this fiscal but with the Rs 2000 crore coming in annually we may not require any further bond issue,” Pandey said.
In May the government had approved allocation of 2.5 per cent of the Central Road Fund proceeds for National Waterways (NWs) per annum for their development. In 2016-17 CRF proceeds was Rs 80,800 crore. IWAI has estimated that approximately Rs 25,000 crore would be required for development of identified projects on NWs till 2022-23 but a lot of projects are being executed in the PPP model with private capital. In this regard work for construction of multi-modal terminals, new navigation locks, river information systems and development of fairways have already commenced under the JMVP on NW-1 (Ganga river).
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In Haldia a 4.2 million tonne capacity multi-modal terminal is being constructed based on the demand received during EoI. However, IWAI will not wait till 2019 for the completion of first phase project of NW-1 (Haldia-Varanasi). “We are already carrying out trials with whatever infrastructure we have and will carry out more in the current fiscal for movement of cargo like cement and fertiliser in smaller quantities instead of waiting for full capacity movement. Post 2019 the capacity will increase significantly,” Pandey said. In the first phase of NW-I project, IWAI will ensure three meter draft from Haldia to Varanasi for smooth inland waterways cargo movement.