The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) came into existence on 27th October 1986 for development and regulation of inland waterways for shipping and navigation. The Authority primarily undertakes projects for development and maintenance of IWT infrastructure on national waterways through grant received from Ministry of Shipping. The head office of the Authority is at Noida. The Authority also has its regional offices at Patna, Kolkata, Guwahati and Kochi and sub-offices at Allahabad, Varanasi, Bhaglapur, Farakka and Kollam.
List of 5 National Waterways in India-
1. National Waterway 1 :
The Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hooghly river system between Haldia (Sagar) & Allahabad (1620 kms) was declared as National Waterway No. 1(NW-1) during October 1986. IWAI is carrying out various developmental works on the waterway for improvement of its navigability. At present the waterway is being used by tourism vessels, ODC Carriers, IWAI vessels etc.
Route : Allahabad–Haldia stretch of the Ganges–Bhagirathi–Hooghly river system.
Established – October 1986.
Length – 1620 km.
Fixed terminals – Haldia, BISN (Kolkata), Pakur, Farrakka and Patna.
Floating terminals – Haldia, Kolkata, Diamond Harbour, Katwa, Tribeni, Baharampur, Jangipur, Bhagalpur, Semaria, Doriganj, Ballia, Ghazipur, Varanasi, Chunar and Allahabad.
2. National Waterway 2 :
The river Brahmaputra having a length of 891 Km between Bangladesh Border to Sadiya was declared as National Waterway no. 2 (NW-2) on 1st September, 1988. Long cruise tourist vessels are making voyages between Sivsagar near Dibrugarh and Mans wild life sanctuary near Jogighopa regularly. POL (petroleum, oil and lubricants) was transported through IWT from Silghat to Budg-Budg (West Bengal) and Baghmari(Bangladesh).
Route : Sadiya – Dhubri stretch of Brahmaputra river.
Established – September 1988.
Length – 891 km.
Fixed terminals – Pandu.
Floating terminals – Dhubri, Jogighopa, Tezpur, Silghat, Dibrugarh, Jamgurhi, Bogibil, Saikhowa and Sadiya.
3. National Waterway 3 :
The West Coast Canal or National Waterway No 3 is located in Kerala, India and runs from Kollam to Kottapuram and was declared a National Waterway in February 1993. It is the first National Waterway in the country with 24 hour navigation facilities along the entire stretch.
Route : Kottapuram-Kollam stretch of the West Coast Canal, Champakara Canal and Udyogmandal Canal.
Established – February 1993.
Length – 205 km.
Fixed terminals – Aluva, Vaikom, Kayamkulam, Kottappuram, Maradu, Cherthala, Thrikkunnapuzha, Kollam and Alappuzha.
4. National Waterway 4 :
Godavari & Krishna rivers & Canals between Kakinada and Puducherry (NW-4) declared as National Waterway 4 (NW 4) on November 2008. It connects the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and the union territory of Puducherry.
Route : The Kakinada-Puducherry stretch of Canals and the Kaluvelly Tank, Bhadrachalam – Rajahmundry stretch of River Godavari and Wazirabad – Vijayawada stretch of River Krishna (NW-4, 1095 km).
Established – November 2008.
Length – 1095 km.
5. National Waterway 5 :
It was declared as National Waterway 5 (NW 5) on November 2008. It covers the state of Odisha and a part of West Bengal. It runs a total length of 623 km of which 91 km is within West Bengal and the remaining 532 km is in Odisha.
Route : Talcher–Dhamra stretch of the Brahmani River, the Geonkhali – Charbatia stretch of the East Coast Canal, the Charbatia–Dhamra stretch of Matai river and the Mangalgadi – Paradip stretch of the Mahanadi River Delta.
Established – November 2008
Length – 623 km.