Cargo transportation on waterways rose to 72.31 million tonnes in 2018-19 from 55.2 million tonnes in 2016-17 and 55.03 million tonnes in 2017-18, the government said on Thursday.
A total of 111 national waterways are being developed in phased manner for the purpose of shipping and navigation, Minister of State for Shipping (Independent Charge) Mansukh Mandaviya said in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha.
Initiatives taken by the government to increase the use of inland waterways and coastal shipping for greater cargo shipments include providing assured depth of water in the channels, navigation aids like GPS and river information system, terminals at regular intervals and facilities for mechanised handling of cargo handling.
Mandaviya said a minimum 40 per cent discount and priority in berthing is being given to coastal vessels at major ports. The Ministry of Fertilisers and the Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) have agreed to provide subsidy for transportation of fertilisers and for transportation of raw materials and finished goods for new industrial units in north eastern region through inland waterways transport mode.
Allowing carriage of coastal containers through the territorial waters of Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Myanmar and streamlining of mechanism for freight subsidy reimbursement for fertilisers are other steps taken in this direction, he said.
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