The Inland Waterways Authority of India has signed three separate MoUs with Dredging Corporation of India and Mormugao Port Trust (MPT) to accelerate the development of inland water transport sector as an alternative mode of transport here. The MoUs were signed yesterday in presence of Union Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari in New Delhi. "Development of Inland Water Transport is a priority of the Ministry of Shipping. After the declaration of 106 new National Waterways, in addition to the existing five National Waterways, under the National Waterways Act, 2016, the responsibilities of Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) have increased manifold," a spokesman from the Shipping Ministry said in a press release here. "These MoUs are meant to make use of the synergies, strengths and expertise of the Ports and Dredging sectors to enable IWAI to accelerate the development of Inland Water Transport (IWT) sector as an alternative, viable and environment friendly mode of transport," the spokesman said. While the MoU with DCI will enable IWAI to maintain navigable depth in National Waterways, the MoUs will help IWAI to develop National Waterway in Odisha and various National Waterways in Goa, he added. He said the MoU between IWAI and DCI is to ensure development of the fairways, the dredging responsibilities of the IWAI are expected to increase rapidly in the next few years. "Under the MoU, DCI will supplement the asset base of IWAI by purchasing\/leasing shallow depth dredgers and operating them in National Waterways. DCI will also prepare cost estimates and determine the duration of the dredging projects," he added. "In regards to MoU between IWAI and Mormugao Port Trust, there will be\u00a0development of National Waterways like Mandovi, Zuari, Chapora, Mapusa and Sal rivers and Cumbharjua canal," the spokesman said. "IWAI and MPT will jointly work to achieve fairway development of the 182-Km stretch in Goa which includes dredging, river training works, bank protection, navigation aids, Vessel Traffic Management System (VTMS) etc. MPT will also provide project management supervision services related to the infrastructure works in the national waterways," he added.