Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 12, 2018, inaugurated an Inland Multi-Modal Terminal Port on river Ganga at Ramnagar in Varanasi. Constructed at the cost of Rs 207 crore, this inland waterways terminal is the first of the four Multi-Modal Terminals being constructed on National Waterways-I on River Ganga as part of the World Bank-aided Jal Marg Vikas project of the Inland Waterways Authority of India. The other three terminals are under construction at Sahibganj, Haldia, and Gazipur.
1. he Jal Marg Vikas Project aims to enable commercial navigation of vessels with the capacity of 1500 – 2000 tons on National Waterway-1.
2. The development and operations of the National Waterway-1 project will lead to direct employment generation to the tune of 46000 and indirect employment of 84000 in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal.
3. The project includes the development of fairway, Multi-Modal Terminals at Varanasi, Haldia and Sahibganj, strong river navigation system, modern River Information System (RIS), Digital Global Positioning System (DGPS), night navigation facilities, construction of a navigational lock at Farakka.
4. The National Waterway-1 along with proposed Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor and National Highway-2 constitutes the Eastern Transport Corridor of India connecting the NCR with the eastern and north-eastern states.
5. This waterway will function as a link to Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Nepal, and other east and south-east Asian countries through the Kolkata Port and Indo-Bangladesh Protocol Route.
6. The JMVP will result in an environment-friendly, fuel-efficient and cost-effective alternative mode of transportation, especially for bulk goods, hazardous goods, and over-dimensional cargo.