Works on the Mahanadi waterway begin under the central plan

Work is underway on the first and second phases of National Waterway-5 on the Mahanadi, Transport Minister Tukuni Sahu told the State Assembly on Thursday. The development work of the first phase has started, while the preliminary work of the second phase has started, she said.

“Under the National Waterways Act, two national waterways — NW-5 and NW-64 — have been announced on the Mahanadi,” Sahu said.

To encourage inland navigation in the country, 111 waterways have been declared national waterways under the National Waterways Act 2016.

The first phase of the NW-5 is 201 km long and will connect Jokadia and Pankapal (Kalinganagar) to Dhamra and Paradip via Mangalgadi. The second 131km phase will connect Jokadia and Pankapal to the coal-rich Talcher area. On the other hand, National Waterway-64 will extend from Sambalpur to Paradip.

“The Inland Waterways Authority of India has invited Expressions of Interest (EOI) for the development and management of some parts of the two national waterways,” Sahu said in her response.

A goal was set to complete the National Waterway-5 by 2017, but that couldn’t be achieved, she added.

The minister also told the gathering that the state has two operational smaller seaports at Gopalpur in Ganjam district and Dhamra in Bhadrak district. Work has started on two smaller seaports at Subarnarekha estuary and Astaranga, the minister added.

The state government has taken the necessary steps to establish smaller seaports at Bichitrapur, Bahabalpur, Chandipur and Inchudi in Balasore district, at Jatadhar estuary in Bhadrak district, at Astaranga and Baliharachandi in Puri district and at Palur and Bahuda river estuaries undertaken in Ganjam district.

A river port is also being built at Akhadasali Village on the banks of the Mahanadi River in Kendrapada District. The state government is developing smaller ports as part of a public-private partnership (PPP). The state leases land for the construction of the ports.

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