To promote Inland Water Transport (IWT) in the country, 111 waterways (including 5 existing and 106 new) spread over 24 states have been declared as National Waterways under the National Waterways Act, 2016. Based on the outcome of techno-economic feasibility and Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) of the NWs, 26 NWs have been found viable for cargo/passenger movement as detailed at Annex.-1.

To promote inland waterways as a supplementary, eco-friendly and cheaper mode of transport, waterway usage charges levied by the IWAI on vessels moving on National Waterways have been waived in July 2020, initially for a period of three years.

In addition to pre-2016 existing 5 NWs, development of 9 new NWs for promotion of inland shipping have been taken up as detailed at Annex.-2.




Sl. No NW Details of Waterways Length (Km) STATES
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 16 Barak River (Lakhipur -Tuker Gram) 121 Assam
4 NW 3 West Coast Canal (Kottapuram – Kollam), Champakara and Udyogmandal Canals 205 Kerala
5 NW 4 Krishna River (Vijayawada – Muktyala) 82 Andhra Pradesh
6 NW 5 Dhamra-Paradip via Mangalagadi to Pankopal 233 Odisha
7 NW 8 Alappuzha- Changanassery Canal 29 Kerala
8 NW 9 Alappuzha – Kottayam – Athirampuzha Canal 40 Kerala (Alternate route: 11.5km)
9 NW 27 Cumberjua River (Cortalim-Ferry to Sao MartiasVidhanParisad) 17 Goa
10 NW 68 Mandovi River (Usgoan bridge to Arabian Sea) 41 Goa
11 NW 86 Rupnarayan River (Pratap Pur to Geonkhali) 72 West Bengal
12 NW 97 Sunderbans Waterway (Namkhana to AtharaBanki Khal) 172 West Bengal
13 NW 111 Zuari River (Sanvorden bridge to Marmugao Port) 50 Goa
14 NW 40 Ghagra River (Faizabad to ManjhiGhat) 345 Bihar & U.P.
15 NW 10 Amba River (Arabian Sea, Dharamtaar Creek to Nagothane ST Stand) 45 Maharashtra
16 NW 44 Ichamati River (Bridge at Gobra to Bansjhari near Bangladesh Border) 63 West Bengal
17 NW 52 Kali River (Kodasalli Dam to Sadashivgad Bridge, Arabian Sea) 53 Karnataka
18 NW 57 Kopili River (Banthai Gaon Tinali Bus Stop to Chandrapur No.2 confluence with Brahmaputra) 50 Assam
19 NW 25 Chapora River (Bridge near Maneri village to Morjim, Arabian Sea) 25 Goa
20 NW 37 Gandak River (Bhaisalotal Barrage to Hazipur) 296 Bihar & U.P.
21 NW 28 Dabhol Creek Vasisti River (Arabian Sea at Dabhol to Bridge at Pedhe) 45 Maharashtra
22 NW 73 Narmada River (Pandhariya to Gulf of Khambhat) 226 Maharashtra & Gujarat
23 NW 85 Revadanda Creek – Kundalika River System (Arabian Sea at Revadanda to Bridge near Roha Nagar) 31 Maharashtra
24 NW 94 Sone River (Sone Barrage, Dehri to Confluence with the Ganga) 141 Bihar
25 NW 100 Tapi River (Hatnur Dam to Gulf of Khambhat) 436 Maharashtra & Gujarat
26 NW 31 Dhansiri River (Morongi T.E. village Bridge to Numaligarh) 110 Assam


The details of projects initiated on the 09 new national waterways:

Sl. No NW Details of Waterways/States Length (Km) Projects started
1 NW 16 Barak River (Lakhipur -Tuker Gram) in Assam 121 Development of NW 16 and IBP route at a cost of Rs 145 crore during 2020-21 to 2024-25 was approved by SFC. Declared as National Waterway-16 (NW-16), Barak River connects Silchar, Karimganj and Badarpur in Cacher valley of Assam through road/waterway with Haldia and Kolkata ports through Indo-Bangladesh Protocol (IBP) Route. There are 10 activities as approved by SFC for NW-16 & IBP route. Out of these 10 activities, 03 are of permanent nature viz, (1) Construction of Terminal at Sonamura on Gumti river, (2) Construction of terminal at Maia on Ganga River and (3) Upgradation of Badarpur and Karimganj terminals, which are in consideration. The remaining 07 activities are of recurring nature viz., (1) Fairway development (2) O&M of navigational aids (3) Consultancy training (4) cargo promotion, and (5) amenities at Ports of Call etc. These activities are carried out on annual maintenance basis under implementation at 2.55% progress till October 2022.
2 NW 8 Alappuzha- Changanassery Canal in Kerala 29 Development proposed as per DPR recommendations. 24 hours navigational aids (15 nos.) provided at critical locations and being maintained.
3 NW 9 Alappuzha – Kottayam – Athirampuzha Canal in Kerala 40 Development of the waterway at an estimated cost of INR 1.60 crore has commenced. Night navigation facilities has been installed. Waterway is already operational.
4 NW 27 Cumberjua River (Cortalim-Ferry to Sao MartiasVidhanParisad) in Goa 17 NWs of Goa are operational under a Tripartite MoU with Govt. of Goa, Marmugao Port Authority & IWAI. Development of NWs in Goa at an estimated cost of INR 22.65 crore has commenced. Work for installation of 04 nos. floating Jetties amounting to Rs.11.33 crores on river Mandovi and river Chapora taken up. In addition a fund of Rs 6.84 Crore has been released to Mormugao Port Authority on 02.04.2022 for induction of navigational Aids.
5 NW 68 Mandovi River (Usgoan bridge to Arabian Sea) in Goa 41
6 NW 111 Zuari River (Sanvorden bridge to Marmugao Port) in Goa 50
7 NW 86 Rupnarayan River (Pratap Pur to Geonkhali) in West Bengal 72 Development of the waterway at an estimated cost of INR 24.00 crore has commenced. Improvement to road from NH to water front terminal at Kolaghat at a cost of Rs.15.45 crore is being executed by Irrigation Dept., Govt. of West Bengal on deposit basis. Floating pontoon jetty is under construction for facilitating loading and unloading of fly-ash cargo.  Permanent terminal is also proposed at Kolaghat for which land acquisition completed in June 2022 and development is considered through annual scheme.


8 NW 97 Sunderbans Waterway (Namkhana to AtharaBanki Khal) in West Bengal 172 Development of waterway at an estimated cost of INR 18.10 crore has commenced. Dredging work by department dredger is proposed. Waterway is part of Indo-Bangladesh Protocol route and already operational for vessels.
9. NW 40 River Ghagra (Ayodhya to Ghaghra-Ganga Confluence)  


An amount of Rs. 11.60 cr. has been approved for fairway development by bandalling and day channel marking, creation of floating terminals and monthly surveys.

Scheme at a cost of Rs. 4.46 cr. has been sanctioned during 2021-22 for development under Phase-I of the waterway.


This information was given by the Union Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Shri Sarbananda Sonowal in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

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