Second Multi-Modal Terminal Dedicated To Nation

  • On 12th September, 2019, Prime Minister launched and dedicated to nation the second riverine multi-modal terminal (MMT) built at Sahibganj, Jharkhand on National Waterway-1(NH-1).
  • The PM inaugurated the state-of-the-art terminal through a two-way digital communication system at an event in Ranchi, Jharkhand.
  • India’s first riverine multimodal terminal on Ganga at Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh was launched in November 2018.

Objective

  • To promote inland waterways as a cheaper and more environment-friendly means of transport, especially for cargo movement.

Sahibganj Multi-Modal Terminal

  • Built at a cost of Rs290 crore, the Sahibganj terminal is the second of three multi-modal terminals being constructed on river Ganga under Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP).
  • Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) is the project implementing agency.
  • The capacity of the terminal is 30 lakh tonnes per annum. It will grow to 8 lakh tonnes per annum after an investment of Rs 376 crores for capacity enhancement in Phase II under PPP mode.The development in Phase II will be entirely made by the private concessionaire.
  • Further, a freight village is also proposed on 335 acres of land in contiguity with the terminal.

Impact

Positive Impact

  • MMT will open up industries of Jharkhand and Bihar to the global market, aiding in the growth and development of both the states.
  • It will help create a waterways route for Indo-Nepal cargo transport.
  • It will play an important role in transportation of domestic coal from the local mines in Rajmahal area to various thermal power plants located along NW-1.
  • Commodities other than coal, stone chips, fertilisers, cement and sugar are also expected to be transported through the terminal.
  • The MMT is expected to generate both direct jobs and indirect jobs in the region.
  • The convergence of road-rail-river transport at Sahibganj through the new multi-modal terminal will connect this part of the hinterland to Kolkata and further to the Bay of Bengal. In addition, it will also provide connection to North-East statesthrough Bangladesh by river-sea route.

Negative Impact

Social

  • The development of MMT has affected the people of Sahibganj and adjoining areas as they have lost their land and are on the edge of losing their livelihood.
  • Around 485 families have been identified as project affected families; resettlement of many families is yet to be done.
  • Further, the development of freight village (industrial cum logistic park and integrated vessel repair and maintenance complex) on 335 acres of land in contiguity with the terminal means more displacement is being lined up.

Environment

  • Loading/unloading and storage of coal, stone chips, fertilisers, and cement, etc. will impact seriously the riverine ecology.
  • The dredging process, the noise and disturbance due to movement of ship, leakage of oil and lubricants, will have a serious impact on the river flora and fauna, especially the GangeticDolphin (national aquatic animal).

Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI)

  • IWAI came into existence on 27th October 1986 for development and regulation of inland waterways for shipping and navigation.
  • The Authority primarily undertakes projects for development and maintenance of inland waterways transport infrastructure on national waterways through grant received from Ministry of Shipping.

National Waterway-1(NH-1)

  • NH-1 is an inland water transport route between Haldia in West Bengal to Prayagraj in Uttar Pradesh.
  • Declared as National Waterway in 1986, the 1,620 km long waterway passes through West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, making it the longest waterway in India.

Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP)

  • JMVP is being implemented at a cost of Rs 5369.18 crore with the technical assistance and investment support of the World Bank, for capacity augmentation of navigation on National Waterway-1 (NW-1).
  • One of the major problems for a commercially viable and safe navigation on NW-1 is low depth upstream of Farakka due to low discharges from tributaries and difficult hydro morphological characteristics of river Ganga.
  • It aims to develop the stretch of Ganga between Varanasi to Haldia for navigation of large vessels upto1500-2000 tonnes weight, by maintaining a drought of 2-3 metres in this stretch of the river and setting up other systems required for safe navigation.

Objective

  • To enhance transport efficiency and reliability of national waterway 1 (NW-1)
  • Augmentation of institutional capacity for the development and management of India's inland waterway transport system in an environmentally sustainable manner.

Need for JMPV

  • The Rail and Road corridors in the proposed region are heavily saturated. The development of NW-1 would provide an alternative, viable, economical, efficient and eco-friendly mode of transport.
  • It will act as a catalyst in the socio-economic development of the regions by creating new business and employment opportunities.

States/districts Covered

  • States: Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal
  • Major Districts: Varanasi, Ghazipur, Ballia, Buxar, Chhapra, Vaishali, Patna, Begusarai, Khagaria, Munger, Bhagalpur, Sahibganj, Musrhidabad, Pakur, Hoogly, Kolkata.

Components of JMVP

  • Fairway Development
  • Construction of the multi-modal terminal at Varanasi
  • Construction of the multi-modal terminal at Sahibganj
  • Construction of the multi-modal terminal at Haldia
  • Construction of an inter-modal terminal at Kalughat
  • Construction of an inter-modal terminal at Ghazipur
  • Construction of a new navigation lock at Farakka
  • Construction of five pairs of Roll on-Roll off (Ro-Ro) terminals
  • Construction of Integrated Ship Repair and Maintenance Complexes
  • Provision of River Information System (RIS) and Vessel Traffic Management System (VTMS)

Advantages

  • It will lead to direct employment generation to the tune of 46,000 and indirect employment of 84,000 will be generated by vessel construction industry.
  • Availability of alternative mode of transport that will be environment friendly and cost effective.
  • The project will contribute in bringing down the logistics cost in the country.
  • It will reduce the handling cost, allows easier modal shift, reduces pilferage and damage.
  • It will help rejuvenate the river Ganga by creating a Room for River, a model that has proved to be an effective flood mitigating and river conservancy measure internationally, especially in low lying Netherlands.

Room for the River Program(Netherland)

  • It is a Dutch flood mitigation initiative that was started in 2006 and was active till 2015.
  • The basic premise of the project is to provide more space for the water body so that it can manage extraordinary high water levels during floods.
  • Effective flood mitigation is a national priority in the Netherlands as flooding is a regular occurrence and of significant concern.
  • The country lies in a delta where three rivers – the Rhine, the Meuse and the Scheldt - intersect and spill into the ocean.
  • The project comprises of nine measures for flood mitigation:
  • Deepening the Summer Bed
  • Water Storage
  • Dike Relocation
  • Strengthening Dikes
  • High Water Channel
  • Lowering Floodplains
  • Lowering Groynes
  • Depoldering
  • Removing Obstacles

Way Forward

  • No doubt, the MMT under JMVP represents the sweeping potentialities of public private partnership (PPP) undertakings, thereby opening up considerable business and investment opportunities in areas like water-based tourism and terminal construction.
  • Successful implementation of the project will help trade flourish in the region and act as a major socio-economic impetus for future initiatives.
  • But simultaneously, the government should consider the well-being of locals and the communities who are bearing the brunt due to the implementation of the project because a vital element of the JMVP is strategic communication campaigns that is aimed at securing citizen participation, particularly the communities living along the project corridor.

Source : Civil Services Chronicle Online, September, 2019