Sonowal’s Inland Waterways In Kolkata Council Debut on Monday

Navigating New Horizons: A Prominent Inauguration in Kolkata's Council Chambers

Setting the Stage: Inaugural Meeting in Kolkata

Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal leads the inaugural meeting of the Inland Waterways Development Council in Kolkata, unveiling ‘Harit Nauka’ guidelines and the ‘River Cruise Tourism Roadmap’ aboard the MV Ganga Queen.

Collaborative Efforts: Memoranda of Understanding

The day-long gathering aims to foster collaboration, bringing together key stakeholders from waterway states and the central government. Anticipating the signing of MoUs, it signifies joint efforts to advance inland waterways and associated sectors.

Agenda Insights: Delving into Key Topics

The meeting sessions delve into crucial topics like fairway development, private sector engagement, and best practices. Discussions include optimizing cargo transport efficiency, eco-friendly vessel development, exploring river cruise tourism’s economic advantages, and emphasizing sustainable practices.

Sagarmala Programme’s Impact in West Bengal

The statement underscores the Sagarmala Programme’s role in driving maritime development in West Bengal, detailing 62 projects valued at Rs 16,300 crore. Of these, 19 projects worth Rs 1,100 crore are completed, and 43 projects, totaling Rs 15,000 crore, are in various stages of implementation.

Sailing Towards Sustainable Progress in Kolkata and Beyond

In Kolkata’s waters, where the MV Ganga Queen hosts this groundbreaking meeting, collaborative efforts through Memoranda of Understanding signify a united front in advancing inland waterways. The active participation of waterway states and the central government paints a picture of cooperative federalism at its best, where diverse regions unite for a common goal.

Historical Significance of Kolkata

Kolkata, with its rich history tied to maritime trade, assumes a symbolic role in the inception of the Inland Waterways Development Council. As a historical hub for trade and commerce, the city provides a fitting starting point for this transformative journey.

Government’s Commitment: Inland Waterways Development Council

Established in October 2023, the Inland Waterways Development Council signifies the government’s commitment to comprehensive development. It focuses on enhancing cargo efficiency, facilitating passenger movement, and promoting river cruise tourism with active participation from States and Union Territories.

Inland Waterways in kolkata
Image From Transport Department Of West Bengal

Strategic Leadership: Sarbananda Sonowal’s Vision

Sarbananda Sonowal’s vision aligns with sustainable progress, emphasizing the role of inland waterways in mitigating environmental impact and maximizing economic benefits. His leadership steers the ambitious endeavor towards a future marked by efficient and eco-friendly logistics.

Maiden Meeting Agenda: Building a Robust Infrastructure

The council’s maiden meeting agenda aims at laying the foundation for a robust waterway infrastructure. Key objectives include identifying strategic inland water routes, upgrading existing ports, developing new terminals, and ensuring seamless connectivity.

Policy Frameworks: Balancing Regulation and Development

Policy frameworks take center stage, with the council aiming to draft guidelines streamlining regulatory processes. This ensures a conducive environment for private enterprises to invest in inland waterway projects, emphasizing collaborative efforts for sustainable development.

Sustainable Transportation: Inland Waterways’ Role

The eco-friendly nature of water transport aligns with global sustainability goals, presenting a viable solution to reduce carbon emissions.

Public-Private Partnership: Driving Development

Fostering collaboration through public-private partnerships is a key strategy. Leveraging private sector expertise expedites development, with innovative enterprises contributing to the technological advancement of waterway transportation.

Environmental Stewardship: Minimizing Impact

Acknowledging the promise of inland waterways, the council prioritizes environmental protection and biodiversity conservation. Experts guide strategies to mitigate negative effects, incorporating sustainable dredging practices, water quality monitoring, and habitat preservation.


Additionally, it promises a nationwide paradigm shift in transportation and economic development, initiating transformative initiatives across the country.

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