In a bold and ambitious move, the Uttar Pradesh government is planning to utilize its extensive network of rivers for efficient and affordable transportation of passengers and cargo. The goal is to achieve merchandise exports worth Rs 3 trillion within the next two to three years.
Currently, Uttar Pradesh is home to twelve waterways situated in major rivers such as the Ganga, Yamuna, Saryu, Betwa, and Chambal, out of the total 111 inland waterways in India.
Experts suggest that by leveraging inland waterway terminals that are directly connected to seaports and dry ports, transportation costs can be significantly reduced. This approach is expected to play a crucial role in boosting exports of perishable and non-perishable goods.
The Varanasi-Haldia inland waterway, which is already operational and managed by the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), is being utilized to its maximum potential by the Yogi Adityanath government to facilitate cargo movement.
This strategic initiative aims to enhance the export of agricultural and dairy products, as well as items from micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
As part of this vision, the state government is actively exploring the development and redevelopment of additional waterways to facilitate cost-effective transportation within the state and between states.
Furthermore, the government is in the process of establishing the UP Inland Waterways Authority, which will be responsible for promoting cargo and passenger movement, as well as fostering water sports and tourism.