Pilot project for developing inland ports across India

By Anjan Dasgupta and Ajoy Halder, HSA Advocates

According to the Ministry of Transport, there are over 1,000 kilometres of navigable inland waterways in India. If developed, these could reduce stress on the country’s highways, and could also provide an alternative and efficient mode of transport for goods and people.

Anjan Dasgupta, HSA Advocates
Anjan Dasgupta
HSA Advocates

Inland navigation has been considered one of the cheapest means of transport, in terms of initial investment as well as operation and maintenance, especially when compared to road, rail and air transport. Northeast India faces several logistics, geographical and weather challenges for road and rail transport. Hence, water transport is more suitable and is also likely to act as a catalyst for economic growth in the region.

To realize the potential of inland waterways in India, the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), a statutory government body responsible for development of inland waterways, embarked on a first-of-a-kind pilot project in the east for the development of inland ports in India. This project will also assist in increasing trade between India and Nepal, as the project proposes to amend the India- Nepal Protocol to the Treaty of Transit, 1999, to specifically include inland waterways on the list of mutually agreed routes for transporting goods between India and Nepal.

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Anjan Dasgupta and Ajoy Halder are partners at HSA Advocates. HSA is a full-service firm with offices in New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Kolkata.

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