Government efforts to promote inland waterways witness a remarkable 700 percent surge in cargo transport, marking a pivotal shift in eco-friendly transportation.
In the past decade, the government’s dedicated push for cargo movement through inland waterways has yielded substantial results, with the latest data indicating a staggering 700 percent increase in the ferrying of goods. The freight transported by waterways has witnessed a remarkable rise from 18 million tonnes (MTs) in 2013-14 to an impressive 126 MTs in 2022-23.
The ongoing fiscal year has already achieved a noteworthy milestone, with 100 MT of cargo transported through inland waterways by December 2023. Government officials express confidence in surpassing the previous year’s total by March, potentially setting a new record. Various measures, including incentives, have been implemented to establish waterways as a preferred mode of goods transportation.
According to Shipping and Waterways Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, a recent Lok Sabha reply disclosed that 12 national waterways moved 32.4 MT of cargo in 2022-23, a significant 4.5-fold increase from 6.9 MT in 2013-14. Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Goa have experienced substantial growth in cargo movement through waterways, further solidifying the government’s commitment to sustainable transportation. To bolster this initiative, the ministry has approved a three-year waiver of waterway user charges.