$1.46 Billion Water Transport Corridor Being Planned In East-India: Report

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Coal India Ltd, a government-owned port, and a state waterways body, are together considering investing up to 120 billion rupees ($1.46 billion) to establish an industrial water transport corridor in the country’s east, two government sources said.

The corridor, which could potentially carry 12 to 15 million tonnes of cargo by 2030, would connect two ports in the eastern state of Odisha via the Brahmi river, the sources said on Monday.

The plan by state-backed Coal India, Paradip Port Authority and the Inland Waterways Authority of India would cater to a major industrial cluster in India, and it would be primarily used for the movement of finished products such as steel, aluminum, sponge iron, and fertilisers, they said.

Coal India, Paradip Port, the Inland Waterways Authority, the Ministry of Mines, and the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The project aims to de-congest and take pressure off the existing rail and road infrastructure in a region that is dotted with mines as well as steel and fertiliser plants, said the sources, who declined to give their names because they were not permitted to speak to the media.

Transportation costs via waterways are roughly two-thirds of railways and half of the costs incurred on road transportation.

The corridor would also help move coal to power stations in southern and western states, some of which were hit by power cuts due to coal shortages triggered by the unavailability of railway rakes.

The Indian Railways currently transports the bulk of coal that goes to power stations.

The proposed corridor will also connect four key industrial clusters of Odisha.

The four clusters house big power, electricity and fertiliser companies such as Jindal Steel and Power, Adani Enterprises, Tata Steel, ArcelorMittal, National Aluminium Co, NTPC and Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative.

After the waterway becomes operational, private and public companies would be invited to operate terminal and cargo services, the sources said.

A detailed project report will be finalised in the next four to five months, they said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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