RITES Limited, a Government of India-owned consultancy firm in the field of transport, infrastructure and related technologies, has identified 5 river stretches for development of inland water transport in Orissa.
The consultant was entrusted with the survey of 15 river stretches in the state. However, it found 5 stretches viable for inland water transport. The recommended sites are in river Budhabalanga (12 km in Balasore-Chandipur stretch), Kharasuan (14 km in Rajnagar-Aul stretch, 24 km in Aul-Aetpur stretch and 25 km in Singpur-Aul stretch) and 9 km stretch in Bhalabadrapur-Nuagarh portion of river Daya.
Those stretches were found viable for navigation after field observation and detailed analysis taken up by RITES. The consultant has also suggested for undertaking detail hydrographic survey of these stretches to identify the channel route. Sources said, director of port and inland waterways of the Orissa government has sent the cost estimates for the proposed hydrographic survey to the transport department.
The cost of the detail hydrographic survey is estimated to be Rs 13 lakh. A consultant will be appointed to take up the hydrographic survey after the government makes the required budgetary provision. "A hydrographic survey will be required as the channel route will have to be identified taking into consideration the flow of water during the lean season", J K Ratha, director ports and inland waterways told Business Standard.
He said, after that a traffic survey will have to be conducted before making the inland waterways functional. Besides, a number of jetties and waiting halls will have to be constructed for which assistance from National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) will be sought.
Meanwhile, the government has chalked out plans to expedite the inland water transport system in the state. Under the plan, three 50 seater launch and three 20 seater launch are proposed to be procured at a cost of Rs 1.76 crore in next two years. Similarly, eight jetties and 6 passenger halls are proposed to be constructed at a cost of Rs 5.35 crore. Of this, while Rs 3.88 crore will come as assistance from Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF), the remaining amount will be provided by the state government, sources added.
Passenger jetties are proposed to be constructed in locations like Chandbali, Chardia (Bhadrakh), Nalitapatia (Kendarapara), Balugaon (Khurda), Kalijai (Khurda), Krishna Prasad (Puri) and Astaranga (Puri).