Government steps up effort to boost inland waterways

July 16th, 2012 - 11:12 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 16 (IANS) To promote private investment into inland waterways, the central government Monday constituted a committee which will identify new areas for attracting funds and private investment in the sector.

“This committee would undertake a systematic effort to identify new areas for private investment, both in infrastructure and in transportation. It will also identify multiple business models which could then be bid out through concessions,” a statement by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said.

The PMO has been actively pushing for greater private investment in inland waterways.

Since January, the PMO has identified and fast-tracked implementation of key projects in the national waterways (NW). These are the Varanasi-Haldia stretch of the Ganga (NW-1), the Brahmaputra in Assam (NW-2), and the inland stretch in Kerala (NW-3).

Based on the push by the PMO, the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) has moved forward on large-scale private investments to transport coal and fertilizer on NW-1, food grain and coal on NW-2, and a cargo on NW-3.

“This (process) will be supplemented by designing model concession agreements and other standardised documents for facilitating a rapid scaling up of investment,” it said.

According to the statement, the committee will have secretary (planning), secretary (shipping), director general IWAI and a representative of DEA (department of economic affairs) as members.

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