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Operational National Waterways in the Country 

Out of the 111 National Waterways (NWs) declared under the National Waterways Act, 2016, 13 NWs are operational for shipping and navigation and cargo/passenger vessels are moving on them.  The details of operational NWs are as follows:

Details of Operational National Waterways

Sl. No. National Waterway (NW) No. Length (km) Location (S)
1. NW-1: Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hooghly River System (Haldia – Allahabad) 1620 Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal
2. NW-2: Brahmaputra River (Dhubri – Sadiya) 891 Assam


3. NW-3: West Coast Canal (Kottapuram – Kollam), Champakara and Udyogmandal Canals 205  



4. NW-4: Phase-1development of the stretch Muktiyala to Vijyawada of river Krishna 82 Andhra Pradesh






Waterways in Maharashtra

i)  NW-10 (Amba River)

ii)  NW-83 (Rajpuri Creek)

iii) NW85 (Revadanda Creek –  Kundalika River System)

iv) NW-91 (Shastri river–Jaigad creek system)















National Waterways in Goa

NW-68 – Mandovi – Usgaon Bridge to Arabian Sea (41 km)

NW-111 – Zuari– Sanvordem Bridge to Marmugao Port (50 km).












National Waterways in Gujarat

NW-73-   Narmada river-

NW-100- Tapi river





Gujarat &Maharastra

13. Sunderbans Waterways (NW-97): Namkhana to AtharaBankiKhal  in West Bengal. 172 West Bengal

(through Indo-Bangladesh Protocol Route)


Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) has put in place a structured management and monitoring system with competent and experienced professionals, to ensure that the projects on NWs are qualitatively executed in a time bound manner.  In addition, the progress of execution of projects is regularly reviewed at various levels within IWAI and the Government.

Inland Water Transport (IWT) mode is widely recognized as environment friendly and cost effective mode of transport.  As per RITES Report of 2014 on Integrated National Waterways Transportation Grid, some of the important benefits of  IWT mode compared to rail and road transportation are fuel efficiency and cost savings as given below:

  1. 1 Litre of fuel moves 24 tonne – km on road, 95 tonne-km on rail and 215 tonne-km on IWT.
  2. Comparative cost for movement of freight.
Mode Railways Highways IWT
Freight (Rs./T.km) 1.36 2.50 1.06

In addition to the economic and environmental benefits, IWT aims to create for the shippers and logistic players, an alternative to the two dominant modes of transport viz. road and rail.


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