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World Bank nod for $375 mn loan to Varanasi-Haldia waterway project 

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The World Bank has sanctioned a loan of $375 million to develop India’s first National Waterway-1 project on the Ganga river, linking Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh with Haldia in West Bengal.

The project is expected to develop water transportation infrastructure in the 1,360-km stretch between Varanasi and Haldia.

“NW1 passes through one of India’s most densely populated areas, and a sizeable 40 per cent of the country’s traded goods either originate from this resource-rich region or are destined for its teeming markets. While the region generates about 370 million tonnes of freight annually, only about 5 million tonnes currently travels by water,” said World Bank in a statement.        

The project will aid the construction of six multi-modal terminals, 10 roll on/roll jetties, ship-repair facilities and passenger jetties along the river.

This project will also repair Farakka lock and will add a new lock for smoother passage of boats. It will also help the Waterways Authority of India to receive the River Information System as well as navigation aids to ensure the travel safety.  

The NW1 project focuses on design and development of a new fleet of low-draft barges capable of carrying up to 2,000 tonnes of cargo in these shallower depths.

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