Prime Minister Narendra Modi will dedicate the newly constructed Varanasi Multi-Modal Terminal (MMT) on River Ganga to the nation on Monday. This is the first of the three Multi-Modal Terminals and two Inter-Modal Terminals that are being constructed on the river. PM Modi will also receive India’s first container vessel that sailed from Kolkata on 30 October 2018. The vessel is carrying cargo belonging to PEPSICO (India) from Kolkata to Varanasi. This is the first container movement on an inland waterway in India after independence.
10 Things About The Varanasi Multi-Modal Terminal On River Ganga
- Being built under the government’s Jal Marg Vikas project, Multi-Modal Terminals aim to develop the stretch of River Ganga between Varanasi to Haldia for large vessel navigation with up to 1500-2000 tonnes weight. This will be done by maintaining a drought of 2-3 m in this stretch of the river and setting up other systems required for safe navigation.
- The objective of the Multi-Modal Terminals is to promote inland waterways as a cheaper and more environment friendly means of transport, especially for cargo movement. Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) is the project Implementing Agency, a PIB statement said on Thursday.
- The Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP) is being implemented on the Haldia-Varanasi stretch of National Waterway-1 (NW-1) with the technical assistance and investment support of the World Bank. The project has an estimated cost of Rs. 5,369.18 crores (USD 800 million, of which USD 375 is IBRD loan) on a 50:50 sharing basis between Government of India and the World Bank.
- The project entails construction of three Multi-Modal Terminals (Varanasi, Sahibganj and Haldia), two Inter-Modal Terminals and five Roll On – Roll Off terminal pairs.
- Apart from this, the project will also include new navigation lock at Farakka, assured depth dredging, integrated vessel repair & maintenance facility, Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS), River Information System (RIS), river training and river conservancy works.
- The ready-to-operation components of the project include a jetty, two mobile harbour cranes, shell structure of ancillary buildings, approach and internal roads, stone pitching works and bank protection.
- The Varanasi Multi-Modal Terminal project and proposed Freight Village at Varanasi are expected to generate 500 direct employment and more than 2,000 indirect employment opportunities.
- The project that was initiated in June 2016 will cover a total land area of 34 hectares. The cost of phase-1 is Rs. 206.84 cr.
- Operation, management and further development of the Varanasi Multi-Modal Terminal is proposed to be entrusted to an Operator on PPP model. Selection of the PPP Operator through an International Competitive Bidding is at an advanced stage and expected to be completed by December 2018.
- The IWAI vessel, MV RABINDRANATH TAGORE, is transporting 16 containers equivalent to 16 truckloads of food and snacks and is expected to reach Varanasi on 11 November 2018. It will make its return journey with fertilizers from IFFCO.