The Odisha government on Tuesday directed the district collectors to undertake a survey to identify points used by people for ferry services from villages situated along the riverbanks to expedite National Waterway-5 work in the state.
A meeting to fast-track the project was held between Chief Secretary A.P. Padhi and Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) Chairman Nutan Guha Biswas.
Biswas assured that the IWAI will provide all assistance for setting up the ferry ghats to carry forward the dredging work.
Issues related to dredging of rivers, transport/dumping of dredged material, repair and maintenance of embankment roads, protection of river banks, preparation of tender documents, redesigning/development of existing bridges on the proposed waterway and other issues were discussed at the meeting, said an official release.
It was decided to carry forward the project's 1st phase from Dhamara/Paradeep to Pankapala through Mangalagadi, the release added.
The meeting also discussed the redesign/customisation of railway tracks and the National Highway Authority of India and Public Works Department bridges for the waterway.
"The works in this stretch will be carried forward in close cooperation between state and central agencies. A special purpose vehicle has been formed for the purpose, involving the state government, Paradeep Port Trust and Dhamara Port Trust. As per preliminary estimates, Rs 1,243 crore will be invested in the project in four years," said an official.
The proposed waterway consists of rivers like Brahmani, Kharsua, Kani, Dhamara, Mantei, the Mahanadi delta and East Coast Canal, in Odisha and West Bengal. It stretches over 583 km, of which 492 km is in Odisha and the rest 91 km in West Bengal.
The waterway has been designed to provide connectivity between Paradep and Dhamara ports, Kalinganagar industrial cluster and the Mahanadi coalfield.
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