With an aim provide an alternative mode of environment-friendly and cost-effective transport, the Narendra Modi government had cleared the Rs 5,369-crore Jal Vikas Marg Project (JVMP) in January this year.
Food and beverages major PepsiCo India will transport 16 containers, equivalent to 16 truckloads, filled with food and snacks on October 30 from Kolkata to Varanasi through inland waterways, river Ganga (National Waterway-1), according to a statement on Monday. The PepsiCo cargo will be the first container movement on inland waterways in the country post-independence in 1947.
With an aim provide an alternative mode of environment-friendly and cost-effective transport, the Narendra Modi government had cleared the Rs 5,369-crore Jal Vikas Marg Project (JVMP) in January this year. The project connects Haldia to Varanasi (1390 Km) and would enable commercial navigation of vessels with a capacity of 1500-2,000 DWT. The World Bank is providing technical and financial assistance to the project.
The government also plans to give a boost to infrastructure development such as ferry services, multi-modal and inter-modal terminals, Roll on – Roll off (Ro-Ro) facilities, navigation aids etc. through the project, which is expected to be completed by March 2023. Apart from this, the project is also expected to provide direct employment of around 46,000 and indirect employment of 84,000 in West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
The vessel MV RN Tagore, containing Pepsico’s food items, will take 9-10 days to reach Varanasi, and will return with fertilizers belonging to IFFCO that will be procured from its Phulpur plant near Allahabad, it added.
Gopal Krishan, secretary of Shipping Ministry, Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) chairman Pravir Pandey and other senior government officials will flag off the vessel in the presence of representatives of PepsiCo on Tuesday, October 30, the statement said.
In Budget Speech of July 2014, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had announced the project (JVMP) to enable commercial navigation of at least 1500 tonne vessels on the Ganga river. In August 2016, Nitin Gadkari, the union minister for shipping, had flagged off a consignment of Maruti cars from Varanasi to Haldia.
Container cargo transportation not only helps in bringing down handling costs, pilferages and damage, and easier model shift, it also helps the cargo owners to cut down their carbon footprints.