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First Meeting Of Inland Waterways Development Council Held In Kolkata


The Inland Waterways Authority of India, operating under the Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways (MoPSW), created history by hosting the inaugural meeting of the Inland Waterways Development Council (IWDC) in Kolkata. This significant event, spearheaded by Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways, Sarbananda Sonowal, brought together representatives from waterway states, central government officials, and experts aboard the MV Ganga Queen.

Key Participants and Agenda

  • Ministers and officials from various state governments, the central government, and domain experts participated in the event. The primary focus was on unveiling key initiatives, such as the “Harit Nauka – Guidelines for Green Transition of Inland Vessels” and the “River Cruise Tourism Roadmap 2047.”
  • Additionally, the meeting saw the signing of several Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs), symbolizing collaborative efforts towards advancing inland waterways and associated sectors.

Critical Issues in Inland Waterways Development

  • The inaugural IWDC addressed critical issues in the development of India’s inland waterways. Key discussions revolved around fairway development, private sector engagement, optimizing cargo transport efficiency in Inland Water Transport (IWT).
  • These discussions aims to promote and develop eco-friendly vessels for passenger transportation, explore the economic advantages of river cruise tourism, and advocate sustainable practices.

Strategic Objectives and Maritime Goals

  • With a strategic objective in mind, the shipping ministry aimed to elevate the modal share of Inland Water Transportation (IWT) from the then-existing 2% to 5%, aligning with the goals outlined in the Maritime India Vision 2030.
  • As part of the ambitious Maritime Amrit Kaal Vision 2047, the ministry aspired to significantly increase the existing IWT cargo volume from approximately 120 MTPA to over 500 MTPA. This signified substantial progress in the development of inland waterways, fostering economic growth and sustainable transportation alternatives.

Government’s Commitment and the Role of IWDC

  • The establishment of the Inland Waterways Development Council in October 2023 underscored the Government of India’s commitment to comprehensively developing inland waterways and the associated Inland Water Transport (IWT) ecosystem.
  • This initiative aimed to enhance cargo efficiency, streamline passenger movement, and boost river cruise tourism, all achieved through active collaboration from states and Union territories.

Important Questions Related to Exams

1. What is the strategic objective of the shipping ministry regarding Inland Water Transportation (IWT)?

a) Decrease modal share to 1%
b) Increase modal share from 2% to 5%
c) Maintain the current modal share of 2%

2. As part of the Maritime Amrit Kaal Vision 2047, what cargo volume increase does the ministry aspire to achieve in Inland Water Transportation?

a) Maintain 120 MTPA
b) Increase to 300 MTPA
c) Increase to over 500 MTPA

3. When was the Inland Waterways Development Council established?

a) October 2022
b) October 2023
c) October 2024

Kindly share your responses in the comment section.


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