The Parliament’s Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture said in its report tabled in the Parliament on August 27 that it is against the Shipping Ministry’s proposal of handing over profitable stretches of National Waterways 4 and 5 to private investors through public-private-partnership (PPP) mode.
The two waterways-Kakinada-Puducherry canals with rivers Godavari and Krishna (NW 4), connecting Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry and the East Coast Canal with Brahmani river and Mahanadi delta rivers (NW 5), connecting Odisha and West Bengal are yet to be operationalised despite declaration as National Waterways in 2008.
‘Does it mean that the non-profitable and riskier sections would be left to the government (Inland Water Transport Authority of India)?’ asked the senior CPI-M parliamentarian Sitaram Yechury, who headed the Committee. Stating that it fails to understand why only the commercially lucrative and viable stretches should be offered to private hands through PPP mode.
The committee recommended that government should come out with comprehensive projects for development of Inland Water Transport in a time bound manner in the country.
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