Haldia Inland Waterway Terminal: Today, Union Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal announced that the contract for the Haldia inland waterway terminal has been awarded. The minister said, soon, the jetty will be functional for sending exim and inland cargo to Pandu terminal, located in Guwahati, Assam, connecting the northeast region with Kolkata via National waterway 2. According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, this will provide an alternative to the chicken neck route for easy and cost effective cargo movement to and from the country’s northeast region to other states of India as well as other foreign countries.
According to the statement issued by the Shipping Ministry, in the meeting, Sonowal interacted with many stakeholders of port and shipping industry of Kolkata and Haldia port. The meeting was participated by various major oil public sector undertakings (PSUs), steel firms such as SAIL and Tata steel, terminal operators, barge operators, shipping lines, custom clearing agents as well as land users of Syama prasad Mookerjee Port. All of them were invited by the Union Minister to be a partner in this unique opportunity of utilizing sea and river route combination (National Waterway 1 and National Waterway 2) via Kolkata port.
The Union Minister of Shipping also informed that depth assurance contract have been awarded in order to maintain National Waterway 1 as well as 2, and also, the barge operators will soon start utilizing these waterways as depths are assured. Also, the Union Minister further mentioned that there is a thinking to offer guarantee to banks to provide soft and easy funds for barges so that this sector can take off. The stakeholders, according to the statement, assured that they will come forward to use this opportunity to make this mission a success. More than 40 major players participated in the stakeholders conference, it added.