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Varanasi-Haldia Inland Waterways to boost exports from UP

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NEW DELHI : The efforts of the Uttar Pradesh government to promote the export of manufacturing goods and agricultural commodities are set to get a boost through the Varanasi-Haldia Inland Waterways.

The government is targeting to increase exports from Rs 1.56 lakh crore to Rs 3 lakh crore in the next three years. The micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) sector contributes 75 per cent to the state’s export basket.

The plan is to harness easy and cheaper cargo movement from Varanasi through the Ganga to the seaport in West Bengal to export agricultural and horticultural produce, dairy products and MSME items. Growing number of expressway projects, coupled with 4-6-lane state and national highways, provides faster connectivity between destinations. The integration of the Varanasi-Haldia inland waterway with the road and expressway network will provide a seamless transportation channel for the state’s export cargo.

Although the Varanasi-Haldia inland waterway operated by the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) is operational, the state aims to develop alternative intrastate inland waterways systems to cater to both passenger and cargo movements.

The state government has already announced to offer full support to the Centre to develop such waterways projects, which will go a long way in providing jobs to the youth and benefitting the farmers.

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