IWAI signs contract with DST, Germany for designing Special Vessels for NW-1

Earlier in August 2016, Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari flagged off the trial run of two cargo vessels from Varanasi on NW-1 (River Ganga).

Created On: Sep 23, 2016 08:30 ISTModified On: Sep 23, 2016 08:33 IST

The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) on 21 September 2016 signed a contract with M/s DST, Germany to design vessels, especially suited to navigate the 1620 km stretch of National Waterway-1 (NW-1). Under the contract, DST will develop 150 to 200 low draft vessels.

The contract was signed with an aim to provide safe, environment friendly and economical mode of transportation through NW-1.

The objective of IWAI is to go along with nature and disturb the river minimally. The specially designed vessels will navigate on low drafts and will be of high carrying capacity, and most importantly, will be environment friendly.

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• DST will develop a combination of standardised vessels to meet the requirement of various types of cargo.

• One of the most important navigational challenges for NW-1 is the kind of vessels that will play on the Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hooghly stretch.

• Keeping in view the difficult hydro-morphological characteristics of the river in the upper reaches between Patna and Varanasi, it is important to have vessels which can ply on low draft, with high carrying capacity, and are economically viable and environment friendly.


• Union Government is developing the National Waterway-1 under the Jal Marg Vikas Project, with assistance from the World Bank at an estimated cost of 4200 crore rupees.

• The project would enable commercial navigation of vessels with capacity of 1500-2000 tons.

• Phase-I of the project covers the Haldia-Varanasi stretch.

• The project includes development of fairway, Multi-Modal Terminals at Varanasi, Haldia, and Sahibganj.

• It also includes strengthening of river navigation system, conservancy works, modern River Information System (RIS), Digital Global Positioning System (DGPS), night navigation facilities, modern methods of channel marking, construction of a new state of the art navigational lock at Farakka etc.

List of National Waterways in India





Allahabad-Haldia stretch of the Ganga—Bhagirathi-Hooghly Rivers


Sadiya-Dhubri Stretch of Brahmaputra River



Kollam-Kozhikode Stretch of West Coast Canal and Champakara and Udyogmandal Canals

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