Delhi to Allahabad ferry services on Yamuna? Centre working on proposal
The Inland Waterways Authority of India plans to introduce cargo services and also ferry passengers between north Delhi’s Jagatpur village and the Sangam in Allahabad.Updated: Feb 01, 2018 15:08 IST
The Centre is working on a proposal to launch ferry services on the Yamuna between Delhi and Allahabad on a stretch of the river designated as National Waterway 110 two years ago. The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) awarded a contract to a government consultancy earlier this month to check the feasibility and prepare a report on the project.
IWAI, which reports to the ministry of shipping, plans to introduce cargo services and also ferry passengers between north Delhi’s Jagatpur village and the Sangam in Allahabad. WAPCOS, a state-owned consulting firm under the ministry of water reso-urces, has been asked to submit report within a year.
The Yamuna, which is polluted in most parts of Delhi, gets cleaner and deeper upstream between Wazirabad in Delhi and Palla on the Delhi-Haryana border but becomes shallow before Agra — a feature that could prove a challenge to the project.
“A Detailed Project Report (DPR) is being prepared to check the feasibility and what could be the impact on environment. The ferry services can be used in future to carry not just cargo but even passengers,” said Pravir Pandey, vice chairman of the Inland Waterways Authority.
There are 111 National Waterways in India identified for the purposes of inland water transport.
“The DPR will check the portion of the river which connects Palla to Sangam near Allahabad. If we can use this channel then we can also avail the National Waterway 1, which comprises River Ganga, Bhagirathi and Hooghly and connects Allahabad to Haldia in West Bengal,” he added.
The study will take into account several parameters such as volume and depth of the water available in the river throughout the year, the size of the cargo which can be carried, and commercial viability.
The options being considered include the so-called Ro-Ro (Roll on, Roll off) one for cars and other vehicles to be ferried on the river, a move that could decongest roads.
Activist Manoj Mishra of Yamuna Jiye Abhiyan said, “the government should first focus on the restoration and rejuvenation of the river. There is hardly any continuity depth and flow in the river.”
A senior official of the IWAI said that’s exactly the objective: “If we need to run the services then we would have to maintain the river and its flow throughout the year. This would help to revive the river.”