A contract for the Haldia inland waterway terminal has been awarded and the jetty will be soon operational for sending Exim and inland cargo to the Pandu terminal in Guwahati connecting the northeast with Kolkata via National waterway 2, Union Minister for Ports, Shipping & Waterways, and Ayush Sarbananda Sonowal announced today.
This will provide an alternative to the chicken neck route for easy and cost-effective movement of cargo to and from northeast to foreign countries and other states of India, he said.
The minister interacted with various stakeholders of the port and shipping industry of Kolkata and Haldia port. Major oil PSUs , steel companies like Tata Steel and SAIL , terminal operators, shipping lines, barge operators, custom clearing agents, and land users of Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port participated in the meeting.
The minister invited all of them to be a partner in this unique opportunity of using sea and river route combination (NW1 and NW2) via the Kolkata port.
Sonowal also informed that a depth assurance contract has been awarded to maintain NW1 and 2, and the barge operators shall soon start using these waterways as depths are assured. He also said that there is a plan to provide guarantees to banks to give easy and soft funds for barges so that this sector can take off.
The stakeholders assured that they will come forward to utilise this opportunity to make this mission a success. More than 40 key players participated in the stakeholders’ conference.