● Gov­ern­ment In­ter­ac­tions

Assocham Bulletin - - FRONT PAGE -

In­land wa­ter­ways can serve as an ef­fec­tive way of trans­porta­tion, as it is cheaper, more re­li­able and less pol­lut­ing than trans­port­ing goods by road or ra il. The gov­ern­ment of In­dia has taken an ini­tia­tive to re­vive and de­velop this greener mode of trans­porta tion.

Re­al­iz­ing that wa­ter­ways have the po­ten­tial to emerge as the lead­ing lo­gis­tics op­tion amongst the multi trans­port net­work, AS­SOCHAM or­ga­nized a Round Ta­ble Dis­cus­sion with Mr. Nitin Gad­kari, Hon'ble Union Min­is­ter for Shipping, Road, trans­port and High­ways in New Delhi.

Mr. Gad­kari high­lighted that with In­dia hav­ing. 7500km of coast­line and 20,000 kms river length, the Gov­ern­ment's first pr ior ity is to pro­mote wa­ter­ways. This sec­tor pro­vides huge eco­nomic vi­a­bil­ity and in­come po­ten­tial The lo­gis­tics cost in In­dia could de­cline and busi­nesses will be in­ter­na­tion­ally com­pet­i­tive, if wa­ter­ways is used as modal trans­port The pri­vate sec­tor can come for­ward and take ex­plore the pos­si­bil­i­ties.

The lo­gis­tics cost in China is just 8- 10%, while in Europe it is 10-12% and in In­dia it is 15-16%. This is mainly due to high diesel cost "The cost of methanol ob­tained from low grade coal (with higher fly ash con­tent not us­able in the Power sec­tor) is Rs. 13-14, while diesel costs Rs. 60. Use of methanol will cut down fuel cost and fur­ther re­duce lo­gis­tics cost to world com­pet­i­tive rates@ 10-12%", said Mr. Cad­kari. The Gov­ern­ment is thus pro­mot­ing in­no­va­tions to de­velop / re­fur­bish old en­gines for methanol use. Niti Aayog has set au­to­mo­bile stan­dards at M-15. Mr. Gad­kari ad­vised AS­SOCHAM to dis­cuss with Dr. Saraswat, Ad­vi­sor En­ergy, Niti Aayog to pre­pare a study on 'To­tal Methanol Econ­omy'.

He also in­formed that Hubli Dock is de­vel­op­ing 500 barges for IWAI, with in­creased

car­riage ca­pac­ity of up to 35004000tons cargo (as against 2500 tons of cargo). Higher car­ry­ing ca­pac­ity with fur­ther re­duced fuel cost will make wa­ter­way trans­porta­tion most ef­fec­tive (ex­pected @ 25 paisa per ton per km).

Giv­ing a heads up on the huge op­por­tu­nity for the pri­vate sec­tor to in­vest in the IWT sec­tor, Mr. Gad­kari in­formed that the gov­ern­ment is procur­ing Rus­sian boats which could run @43nau­ti­cal miles. In­dus­try too could buy old cruise ves­sels, re­fur­bish and use it. The Min­istry of Shipping will lend all help to in­vestors. Pas­sen­ger cruise (ships run on methanol fuel) from Mum­bai to Bali en­route An­daman and Ni­co­bar is be­ing en­vis­aged. Fur­ther, us­ing coastal shipping route, cars could be trans­ported from Chen­nai to Kandla and and vice versa and then trans­ported through wa­ter­way route to north­ern In­dia. This would re­duce cost of ve­hi­cles in far fetched states.

In re­sponse to in­dus­try de­mand for fis­cal and tax in­cen­tives, Min­is­ter said that of­ten Min­istry of Fi­nance is reluc­tant to ac­cede to such

de­mands. How­ever, any help within the purview of Min­istry of Shipping could be of­fered to pri­vate sec­tor. Fer­tilis­ers are trans­ported through trucks at sub­si­dized rates. Min­istry is pur­su­ing to ex­tend sim­i­lar ben­e­fit for trans­porta­tion through wa­ter­ways.

In­dus­try pointed that In­dia and Bangladesh signed an MoU for Indo-Bangladesh pro­to­col route Mr. Sac­char in­formed that SOP has been sent to Bangladesh Gov­ern­ment and should it re­ceive their nod, shipping pro­to­col will be signed.

Chit­tagong Port is highly con­gested with turn­around time ex­ceed­ing 15 days. Se­condly, un­der the Indo-Bangladesh pro­to­col agree­ment, re­turn freight to In­dia is­not per­mis­si­ble. Hon'ble Min­is­ter sug­gested that AS­SOCHAM could take lead in ad­dress­ing this is­sue and call for a joint meet­ing of Cham­bers of Com­merce (Dhaka and Bangladesh Cham­ber), Min­istry of Shipping Bangladesh, IWAB and IWAC (Bangladesh) and the Cham­ber's of Com­merce, Kolkata Port Trust, IWAI. Am­bas­sadors of two coun­tries also could join and re­solve the is­sues around Indo-Bang Ia Pro­to­col agree­ment.

Mr. Pravir Pandey, IWAI also Chair­man Na­tional Coun­cil on In­land Wa­ter­ways said that the flag­ship JMV project started on June 15 and pro­gressed re­mark­ably over past 4 years. "Over next 7-8 years we shall achieve de­vel­op­ment equiv­a­lent to what other na­tions have achieved over 50-60 years. In Ganga river front end engi­neer­ing stud­ies, math­e­mat­i­cal mod­el­ing, nu­mer­i­cal mod­el­ing have been com­pleted. For the first time en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact, so­cial im­pact assess­ment, cargo anal­y­sis has been done since 2014. Cab­i­net ap­proved the project on 3rd Jan­uary 2018 and loan with the World bank was signed in Feb 18. JMVP is 800 mil­lion $ project." It is a his­toric step. Un­der the Na­tional Wa­ter­way Act 2016, IWAI is cur­rently han­dling 1000 crore pro­jects an­nu­ally (as against 80-100crore pro­jects per an­num han­dled ear­lier). Ex­ten­sive work has started on 8NWs. Cur­rently we are han­dling 5000-6000kms of wa­ter­way routes in­clud­ing Ganga (1400 kms), Indo- Bangladesh Pro­to­col route & NW 2 Bra­ham­pu­tra route (1600 kms). IWAI has raised ex­tra bud­getary re­sources through Bonds and World Bank has also ex­tended large funds.

Though IWAI is work­ing on mis­sion mode, how­ever, it is also re­al­ized that task of this mag­ni­tude can­not be ac­com­plished alone. There is a need for pri­vate sec­tor to part­ner with IWAI. New modal choice is be­ing cre­ated; road and rail have been con­tem­po­rary choices, it is time that wa­ter­ways is added as the new choice.

Mr. Nitin Gad­kari, Hon'ble Union Min­istry of Shipping, Roads and Trans­port re­leas­ing AS­SOCHAM's strat­egy pa­per on 'In­land Wa­ter­way Trans­porta­tion' with (L-R)Mr. D. S.Rawat, Sec­re­tary Gen­eral, AS­SOCHAM, Mr. Pravir Pandey IA & AS, Vice-Chair­man, In­land Wa­ter­way Author­ity of In­dia (lWAI) and Project Direc­tor Jal Mar­gas Project (JMVP), Ms Nu­tan Guha Biswas, Chair­per­son, IWAI, Mr. San­deep Ja­jo­dia, Pres­i­dent, AS­SOCHAM, Mr. R. Sachar Ad­vi­sor E, Min­istry of Shipping, Mr. Saibal De, CEO, Di­rec­tors & FSMar­itime In­fra­struc­ture Co. Ltd.

Mr. San­deep Ja­jo­dia, Pres­i­dent, AS­SOCHAM in con­ver­sa­tion with Mr. Nitin Gad­kari, Hon­ble Union Min­istry of Shipping, Roads and Trans­port.

Mr. Nitin Gad­kari, Hon'ble Union Min­istry of Shipping, Roads and Trans­port ad­dress­ing the au­di­ence. Also seen (L-R) Mr. D. S.Rawat, Sec­re­tary Gen­eral, AS­SOCHAM, Mr. Pravir Pandey IA&AS, Vice-Chair­man, In­land Wa­ter­way Author­ity of In­dia (iWAi) and Project Direc­tor, Jal Marg Vikas Project (jMVP), Ms Nu­tan Guha Biswas, Chair­per­son, IWAI, Mr. San­deep Ja­jo­dia, Pres­i­dent, AS­SOCHAM, Mr. R. Sachar Ad­vi­sor E, Min­istry of Shipping, Mr. Saibal De, CEO, Direc­tor, IL&FSMar­itime In­fra­struc­ture Co. Ltd.

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