Union Minister for Road Transport and Water Resourceas Nitin Gadkari on Saturday announced that the Central government will sanction Rs 2,000 crore for inland waterway on Godavari River.
He asked Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra to come forward to take 10 percent equity each in the special purpose vehicle to be formed by the ministry to execute the project.
Gadkari was speaking at a function to lay foundation stone for four infrastructure projects in Hyderabad.
He said Godavari waterway project will transform the economies of the three states. Stating that a feasibility study has already been completed, the minister said he will order a Detailed Project Report (DPR).
Gadkari was confident that the work on this project can start this year and asked the Telangana government to submit the proposal.
The length of the National Waterway 4 will be 1,184 km from Nasik, where Godavari starts to Bhadrachalam in Telangana to Rajahmundry. It proposed to be extended to Krishna River from Wazirabad to Galagali for another 628 km.
Stating that he has so far ordered infrastructure works worth Rs.10 lakh crore, the minister said there was no dearth of money and he was ready to take up the project by mobilising funds including loans in foreign exchange at two percent interest.
Gadkari said that inland waterways are his dream project, which can double the exports by reducing the logistics cost by 50 percent. He believes this will boost industry and provide employment.
He said work on Buckingham canal and Swarna River waterway had already started. Ganga River will have four multi-modal hubs and this could facilitate transportation of goods from Varanasi to Southeast Asia, Bangladesh and Myanmar. He believes this can transform the economy of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
Earlier, Telangana’s Industry and Municipal Administration Minister K.T. Rama Rao said since Telangana is landlocked state, it needs help in developing inland waterways. He said the Godavari waterway could facilitate movement of a ship from Bay of Bengal to Maharashtra via Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
The minister said barrages being built under Kaleswaram project will have the provision to take ships to Godavari.