Inland Waterways of India

by OldSailor on September 14, 2009


IWAI India has about 14,500 km of navigable waterways comprising rivers, canals, backwaters, creeks. This is in addition to the coastline of 7,517 km covering the mainland, Lakshadweep Islands, and the Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Presently, Inland Waterways operation is restricted to a few stretches in the Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hooghly rivers, the Brahmaputra, the Barak river, the rivers in Goa, the backwaters in Kerala, inland waters in Mumbai and the deltaic regions of the Godavari – Krishna rivers.

Inland Waterways in India are developed and regulated through the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) from October 27, 1986.

The National Waterways in India are:

  • National Waterway – 1: Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hooghly river system from Allahabad to Haldia (1620 km), declared as National Waterway in 1986. India_Inland_Waterways_1
  • National Waterway – 2: The Brahmaputra river from Sadiya to Dhubri (891 km), declared as National Waterway in 1988.
  • National Waterway – 3: The West Coast Canal (205 km), declared as National Waterway in 1993.
    • Kollam to Kottapuram: 168 km
    • Champakara canal: 14 km
    • Udyogmandal canal: 23 km
  • National Waterway – 4: Kakinada – Puducherry canal along with rivers Godavari and Krishna (1095 km) declared as National Waterway in 2008, covering states of Andhra Pradesh (888 Km), Tamil Nadu (205 Km) and Union Territory of Puducherry (2 Km).
    • Godavari river from Bhadrachalam to Rajahmundry – 171 km
    • Krishna river from Wazirabad to Vijayawada – 157 km
    • Kakinada canal from Kakinada to Rajahmundry – 50 km
    • Eluru canal from Rajahmundry to Vijayawada – 139 km
    • Commamur canal from Vijayawada to Peddaganjam lock – 113 km
    • North Buckingam canal from Peddaganjam lock to Chennai – 340 km
    • South Buckingham canal from Chennai to Mercanum – 103 km
    • Kaluvelli tank from Mercanum to Puducherry – 22 km
  • National Waterway – 5: East Coast Canal integrated with Brahmani and Mahanadi delta river system (623 km), declared as National Waterway in 2008, covering states of West Bengal (91 km) and Orissa (532 km).
    • Geonkhali- Charbatia stretch of East Coast Canal: 217 km
    • Charbatia- Dhamra stretch of River Matai: 40 km
    • Brahmani, Kharsua & Dhamra river system: Talcher- Dhamra, 265 km
    • Mahanadi delta river: Mangalgadi-Paradip, 101 km

Proposed National Waterway: River Barak, Lakhipur – Bhanga (121 kms)

View a video clip from Videos From India: Inland waterways transportation to be revived in Bihar

For more details, log on to Inland Waterways Authority of India.

Above map is from IWAI.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Akhil April 2, 2014 at 7:39 AM

A very interesting arcltie / topic. Thank you Alceste. My questions /comments probably reflect my lay persons’ undertanding of such matters rater than your explanations! These are;Can you clarify the distinction between passengers commercial’ rights e.g. to get their money back if a trip is cancelled or curtailed and a passengers right to be carried safely? I’ve a feeling that Maritime/Boat Safety is a big issue in itself and EU regulations covering this is extremely comprehensive. Does regulation 1177/2010 somehow embrace this area AND commercial rights? Or have I missed the point?Could you also clarify the difference between passengers’ and consumers’ ? (see The concept of passengers and consumers. ) I’m still a bit unclear about this.The arcltie states that Maritime Sector is a liberalised’ market sector. What does this mean?The EU seems to suggest that the quality of passenger protection may influence choice as opposed to price / environmental benefits etc. Do you think this is a realistic claim?Finally I noted the list of exemptions from Reg 1177/2010. Many inland waterway transport offers’ or services may be covered by these probably more so on the UK’s smaller waterways. I suspect those countries using their waterways for getting passengers from A’ to B’ will be mainly not exempt due to the size and modernity of such vessels.

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