Lok Sabha on 21 December 2015 unanimously passed the National Waterways Bill, 2015 by voice vote. The Bill identifies additional 101 waterways as National Waterways.
The Bill repeals the five Acts that declare the existing national waterways. These five national waterways are now covered under the Bill.
Provisions of the Bill
• After the inclusion of 106 additional inlands waterways to the existing five national waterways, the total number of national waterways will go up to 111.
• Declaration of the additional 106 waterways as National Waterways will not have any immediate financial implications.
• Financial approval of the competent authority for each waterway will be taken based on the outcome of the techno-economic feasibility studies etc. that are being undertaken by the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI).
• IWAI will develop the feasible stretch of National Waterways for shipping and navigation purpose through mobilization of financial resources.
• The declaration of the National Waterways will enable IWAI to develop the feasible stretches for Shipping and Navigation.
• The right over the use of water, river bed and the appurtenant land will remain with the State Government.
• The expeditious declaration of National Waterways and its subsequent development will enhance the industrial growth and tourism potential of the hinterland along the waterway.
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