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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.
The government proposes to offer ports along the riverside systems of the Ganga, Brahmani, Brahmaputra, West Coast Canal, Godavari, Krishna and Barak for development. Most of these ports will fall along coal-bearing routes, making them commercially exploitable. The projects will be offered on the design, built, operate and transfer model. Under the upcoming model concession agreement, the government is likely to offer a contract period of 30 years, making it a worthwhile proposal for private investment. It is eyeing huge opportunity in transportation of coal to power plants along these rivers.