Minister for road transport, highways and shipping, Nitin Gadkari has urged the states to join hands with the Centre for creation of joint ventures for development of inland waterways.

"I have asked the states to form inland waterways corporations along with the Centre", Gadkari said at an event organised by MCC Chamber here last evening.

He said the states would have to provide 26 per cent of the equity while the balance would be given by the Centre.

Private investments for development of inland waterways are also welcome, he said.

The minister said that usage of inland waterways as a means for transportation of cargo and passengers was very low compared to China, Korea, France and the UK.

He said the NDA government had taken a serious view on the development of inland waterways, adding that declaration of 101 national waterways (NW) were awaiting Cabinet approval.

Gadkari said that the previous UPA regime had declared only five NWs.

Regarding the Haldia-Allahabad NW, he said that the World Bank had given an assistance of Rs 4,500 crore for maintenance of 3-metre draft along the Haldia-Varanasi corridor.

The government was also ready with ship building and ship breaking policies, he said.