The Human Resource Development Ministry has been asked to help set up a national-level institution or a university that offers courses on applied river sciences in order to create expertise in cleaning and rejuvenating the Ganga and other rivers.
With an aim to scale up inland waterways infrastructure, the government is planning to offer 850 small and medium sized ports along key rivers for development by the private sector including foreign investors. This could see an investment of nearly Rs 4,000 crore.
We have suggested a series of recommendations based on the basic principles of ecology-based river management of the Ganga. The implementation and follow-up has to be done by the Central government in collaboration with the State governments. Our grand vision is as follows:
The Union government has drawn up an ambitious Rs 25,000-crore plan to create a national waterway grid linking Ganga, Brahmputra, Mahanadi and Godavari rivers. Nitin Gadkari, the minister for roads and shipping, has given an in-principle clearance to the eight-year project.
NTPC has tied up with Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) to ensure smooth transportation of coal for the Farraka and Khelgaon projects as the railways network is congested and coal supply can be augmented through use of waterways given that the plants are situated near the Hooghly and the Ganga.