New Delhi: Shipping and Railway ministries on Thursday signed an initial agreement to build logistics terminal at Varanasi for facilitation of faster and cost effective cargo transportation through inland waterways.
"Waterways has gained a lot importance for transportation of goods worldwide and I feel that we are lagging behind in that aspect. We can transport goods through waterways at one-fifth the cost compared to roads. Integration of roads, highways and waterways will create jobs," Minister of Shipping Nitin Gadkari said here.
The minister said that the land acquisition process for the proposed terminal is underway.
"In three month will request Prime Minister Narendra Modi to lay foundation stone after the completion of land acquisition process at the site, Gadkari said.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed today between the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) and Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India (DFCCIL) for jointly developing multi-modal logistics terminal at Varanasi on National Waterway-1 and other national waterways.
"It will reduce cost of transportation, is cost effective and environment friendly," Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said here.
As per the MoU, IWAI under the Ministry of Shipping, will collaborate for the project with the DFCCIL under the Ministry of Railways, for the project and also facilitate business development in the hinterland and its feeder routes.
IWAI and DFCCIL will work jointly to provide rail connectivity to the proposed inland waterway terminal at Varanasi to make it a logistics hub, with a vision of developing similar facilities at other strategic locations on other national waterways and dedicated freight corridors.
IWAI primarily undertakes projects for development and maintenance of IWT infrastructure on national waterways through grant received from Ministry of Shipping.
DFCCIL is a Special Purpose Vehicle set up under the administrative control of Ministry of Railways to undertake planning and development, mobilization of financial resources and construction, maintenance and operation of the Dedicated Freight Corridors.