VARANASI : With the aim to further strengthen the role of inland waterways, the ‘PM Gati Shakti Multimodal Waterways Summit 2022’ gets underway in Varanasi. The 2-day event under the aegis of Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) will take a deep dive into the PM Gati Shakti NMP, its components and their significance as encompassing engines of economic growth.
Speaking at the event, Shri Sarbananda Sonowal, Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways and AYUSH, Government of India said, “Under the guidance of the Hon’ble Prime Minister we are progressing in every field and different ministries of the Government of India have taken important steps to improve the logistics system. Our economy will not be strong unless the logistics system is improved. The government is speeding up projects and schemes through the logistic policy. Today every state is moving forward on the path of development because of this policy.”
“There are 111 waterways in the country and with the steps that the government has taken to improve logistics, we have made significant progress towards making India self-reliant. The discussions and inputs received from experts through this summit will help accelerate the growth and development of the nation” he added.
Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister for Textiles, Minister of Commerce and Industry and Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Govt of India said, “No one has an effective tool like Gati Shakti, not even the most developed nations in the world. The country is progressing in every field under the able leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. As the Chief Minister of Gujarat, he had ushered in an era of rapid progress in the infrastructure and after becoming the Prime Minister of the country the country is witnessing rapid progress in this sector. The PM Gati Shakti is providing the much needed impetus to projects and has emerged to be a key growth driver.”
In his address to the summit, Shri Yogi Adithyanath, Chief Minister, Uttar Pradesh said, “The entire country is watching the progress that is being made in every field through the PM Gati Shakti Scheme. Uttar Pradesh is a key beneficiary of the scheme and has sufficient water resources available which will accelerate the pace of development.”
Shri Sanjay Bandopadhyaya, Chairman, Inland Waterways Authority of India said, “The summit is organised to integrate the Ganga waterway in Varanasi, UP with different states and different modes of transportation. Under the JMVP project, we plan to carry cargo and passengers from Varanasi right upto Haldia crisscrossing four states. Then using the IBP route that passes through Bangladesh onto the North-eastern states of the country. The discussions during the summit will help us in finalising a planning and implementation schedules for this. The infrastructure inaugurated and various MoUs signed during the summit will help strengthen inland waterway transportation and that too in a green and sustainable way.”
The summit saw plenary sessions on Decoding PM Gati Shakti National Masterplan and Enhanced Multimodal Connectivity to Industrial and Commercial Clusters were held. The discussion sessions saw political leadesrships and top bureaucrats from the state & central government, industry captains and sector experts deliberate on pertinent topics to strengthen the role of inland waterways in the logistics ecosystem of the country.
Special Session with Uttar Pradesh and with Nepal & Bhutan were also held to strengthen interstate multimodal connectivity, enhance regional integration, enhance logistical efficiency and explore new avenues for river cruise tourism. XX nos MoUs were also signed with representative of Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh to boost ‘Neighbourhood First’ and ‘Act East’ policies.
A new website for Trade Facilitation Centre for Inland Water and Coastal Transport ( )was also launched for users of waterways and coastal shipping to access relevant operational and commercial information.
A MoU between IWAI and Cochin Shipyard Ltd. for Electric-Battery powered hybrid catamarans for Assam was also signed at the summit.
A host of dignitaries such as, Mr Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury, State Minister for Shipping, Govt of Bangladesh, Dr Tarun Kapoor, Advisor to Prime Minister of India, Dr Sanjeev Ranjan, Secretary, Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Govt of India, Mr Amit Kumar Ghosh, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, Govt of India, Mr Naveen Srivastava, H.E Indian Ambassador to Nepal, Dr Shankar Prasad Sharma, H.E Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Embassy of Nepal in India, Mr Karma Tshering, Secretary, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Govt. of Bhutan, Shri Dayashanker Singh, Minister for Transport, Govt of Uttar Pradesh, Shri Shantanu Thakur, Minister of State for Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Govt of India, addressed the summit and shared valuable insights.