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The Government is working to develop inland waterways as an alternative mode of transport in the country, which is cleaner and cheaper than both road and rail transport. There are 111 National Waterways in the country today, after 106 waterways were declared as National Waterways, adding to the list of 5 existing NW, in 2016.
Some of the National Waterways in the country are already operational/ navigable and are being used for transportation.
1. River Barak (NW-16): Under Phase -1, the stretch between Silchar to Bhanga (71 km) has been taken up for development. Waterway is operational with limited infrastructure facility.

2. River Gandak (NW-37): Bhaisalotan Barrage near TriveniGhat to confluence with Ganga river at Hajipur (296 km)in Bihar and UP. Development works commenced from Ganga confluence to Bagaha Bridge (250 km approx.) under Phase-1.
National Waterways in Goa

3. NW-27-Cumberjua – confluence with Zuari to confluence with Mandovi river (17 km)
4. NW 68 – Mandovi– Usgaon Bridge to Arabian Sea (41 km)
5. NW 111 – Zuari– Sanvordem Bridge to Marmugao Port (50 km). Development works for expansion / setting up of floating jetties and upgradation/ installation of navigational aids is underway. NWs of Goa are operational.

6. Alappuzha – Kottayam – Athirampuzha Canal (NW-9) :Boat Jetty, Alappuzha to Athirampuzha (38 km) in Kerala. Development work in the Alappuzha – Kottayam stretchhas commenced under Phase-1 for cargo movement. Waterway is already operational for ferry services.
7. River Rupnarayan (NW-86): Confluence of Dwarkeshwar and Silai rivers (Pratappur) to confluence with Hooghly river (Geonkhali) (72 km) in West Bengal. Approximately 34 kms between Geonkhali to Kolaghat stretch has been taken up for development under Phase-I.
8. Sunderbans Waterways (NW-97): Namkhana to AtharaBanki Khal & 13 connected rivers (654 km) in West Bengal. Phase-I development work of this NW from Namkhana to Athara Banki Khal (172 km)has been taken up. NW is already operational under Indo-Bangladesh Protocol (I

IWAI has set up a mechanism to monitor the waterway through regular surveys and channel inspection. Regular fortnightly hydrographic surveys are conducted to determine the available depth and possible shoal formations in the channel and to notify the obstructions, clearances available at cross structures. A constant vigil is kept on the river behavior and plans accordingly to ensure fairway for safe movement of vessels. Based on the observation during channel inspection, River Notices are issued and placed on the IWAI website with details on Least Available Depth (LAD), clearances at bridge structures etc. along with any specific information to be conveyed to shippers.