● Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath discussed the development of waterways in the state and provided necessary directions regarding the formation of the Uttar Pradesh Inland Waterways Authority in a high-level meeting on Thursday.
● Under the guidance of the Honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the expansion of waterway transport in Uttar Pradesh is progressing rapidly. The National Waterway from Prayagraj to Haldia is operational. There are immense possibilities for both passenger and cargo transportation in inland waterways in the state, and we need to further expand it.
● Uttar Pradesh is a land of perennial rivers, with most rivers having sufficient water throughout the year. The state has a rich tradition of water transportation. There was a time when the Princess of Ayodhya traveled through waterways to South Korea. However, in course of time, the sector was neglected.
● There is a need for concrete efforts to promote the creation and development of waterways in the state and to utilize them for transportation and cargo movement. In this regard, the formation of the Inland Waterways Authority in the state should be considered by studying the functioning of the National Waterway Authority and similar systems in other states and presenting relevant proposals.
● This authority will function as a nodal authority coordinating with the Indian Inland Waterways Authority. It will regulate all activities related to inland waterway transport and tourism. Additionally, the authority will ensure compliance with environmental and safety laws related to water transportation, as well as take responsibility for conducting hydrographic surveys and inspections for the development and better utilization of waterways.
● The authority should study and analyze data related to inland waterway traffic. Scientific research should be conducted on inland water transportation, tourism, shipping, and navigation activities. Technical training for stakeholders and officials/employees involved in inland water transportation should also be provided.
● The Transport Minister should be appointed as the ex-officio Chairman of the Uttar Pradesh Inland Waterway Authority, while a seasoned expert with extensive experience in the field of water transportation should be appointed as the Deputy Chairman. The Transport Commissioner of the state should be designated as the CEO of the Authority. Furthermore, officials from departments related to finance, culture, irrigation, and forestry, among others, should be included as members.
● Illegal mining/settlement should be strictly prohibited in the catchment areas of rivers. Vigilance is necessary in this regard. Channelization and silt cleaning of rivers should be carried out in a timely manner.