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Barak river to get national waterway tag
Published on 10 Oct. 2010 12:14 AM IST
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Inland Waterways Authority of India will conduct a fresh study of the Karimganj-Lakhipur stretch of Barak river for declaring it a national waterway.
A waterways authority official said a fresh detailed project report was important because the last techno-economic feasibility study was done about a decade back and much of the data might have changed.
The hydrographic survey was done in 1991 and the Rail India Technical Economic Services (RITES) conducted a techno-economic feasibility study in 1998.
“The declaration of Barak river as a national waterway is already in process. However, this is expected to be declared only during 2010-11 or 2011-12,” the official said.
Of the total length of 900-km Barak river, 524km is in India and the rest in Bangladesh. A majority of Lakhipur stretch is in the hilly terrain and is not navigable. Only 121km of the river in India is navigable.
The new study will examine the cargo potential for inland water transport through the proposed waterway.
The reports will be compared to the Techno-economic Feasibility Study Report 1991 of RITES, and accordingly traffic surveys will be conducted to update the study. The study will also provide traffic projections of five, 10 and 15 years.
“The study will provide the origin and destination of each identified cargo along with the source,” the official said.
The experts will analyse past 20 years’ data on water level, discharge, velocity, bed and bank material and also reports of Central Water Commission, Brahmaputra Board, state departments concerned, National Remote Sensing Agency and Survey of India on topography of the Barak.
The experts will recommend suitable freight structures for inland water transport after studying the existing freight and tariff structure for rail, road and inland water transport.
“The study should suggest charges for using the waterway, terminals and other facilities, which can be levied by the Inland Waterways Authority of India on the operators without adversely affecting the commercial viability of inland water transport operations,” the official said.

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