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Road to Revolution: Transforming India’s waterways and infrastructure for growth

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KOLKATA : The Government of India has embarked on a transformative journey to revolutionize the nation’s infrastructure, aiming to enhance economic growth, connectivity, and quality of life. With a concentrated effort on modernising transportation networks, upgrading urban amenities, and expanding digital infrastructure, several groundbreaking initiatives have been launched. Among these, the development of India’s waterways stands out as a critical focus.

Harnessing India’s Waterways

India’s commitment to enhancing inland water transportation is evident with the designation of 111 waterways as National Waterways (NW) under the National Waterways Act, 2016. This strategic move aims to improve connectivity, promote trade, and facilitate smoother transportation of goods and passengers across the country. The development of these waterways is set to play a pivotal role in boosting the nation’s economy and fostering regional integration.

Sailing Towards Development Through Sagarmala Programme

Central to the government’s efforts is the Sagarmala Programme, which aims to foster port-led development, reduce logistics costs, and accelerate economic growth. The programme encompasses a wide range of projects, including the modernization of existing ports and terminals, enhancement of port connectivity, development of fishing harbors, and establishment of skill development and technology centers.

A staggering 839 projects, with an investment of approximately Rs. 5.8 lakh crore, are planned under the Sagarmala Programme. To date, 241 projects worth around Rs. 1.22 lakh crore have been completed. Additionally, a total of 171 projects, valued at Rs. 4525 crore, have received partial funding support under the Sagarmala scheme, with 55 of these projects already completed.

Coastal Connectivity with RoPax Services

Further bolstering the nation’s coastal infrastructure, the government has undertaken the development of 63 infrastructure projects across 57 locations to facilitate passenger and cargo transportation through RoPax and passenger ferry services. Ten of these projects have been completed, and four locations are now operational. The improved connectivity through RoPax services has stimulated economic activities in coastal regions by ensuring the smooth movement of goods and people. This, in turn, has contributed to the growth of local industries and tourism.

Looking Ahead

India’s ambitious push towards modernizing its infrastructure, with a keen focus on waterways, is set to bring about significant economic and social benefits. These efforts underscore the government’s commitment to fostering inclusive and sustainable development, paving the way for a brighter future for all its citizens.

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