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Ichamati River Dredging: A Boost for Inland Waterways

Recent Development: The Minister of State for Ports, Shipping, and Waterways has officially launched dredging operations on National Waterways 44, specifically focusing on the Ichamati River in West Bengal. This significant project marks a crucial step in enhancing regional water transportation. Let's explore the Ichamati River and its importance in more detail.

Exploring the Ichamati River:

  • The Ichamati River is more than just a waterway; it is a trans-boundary river that gracefully traverses both India and Bangladesh.

  • Serving as a natural boundary, it demarcates the border between these two neighboring nations.

  • The river's course is divided into three distinct segments. The longest portion originates from the Mathabhanga River, which is a distributary of the mighty Padma River. After a journey spanning 208 kilometers, it merges with the Kalindi River near Hasnabad in North 24 Parganas (West Bengal) and Debhata in the Satkhira District of Bangladesh.

  • Notably, the Ichhamati River, along with its tributaries, gives rise to a substantial oxbow lake complex in the North 24-Parganas district, close to the town of Bangaon.

Key Facts about India's National Waterways:

  • In a bid to promote Inland Water Transport (IWT) in the country, India has designated 111 waterways as National Waterways (NWs), comprising 5 pre-existing and 106 newly identified routes, as per the National Waterways Act of 2016.

  • The responsibility for developing and maintaining IWT infrastructure on these national waterways primarily falls under the purview of the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI). Funding for these projects is secured through grants from the Ministry of Shipping.

  • The IWAI's headquarters are located in Noida.

In conclusion, the commencement of dredging activities on the Ichamati River represents a strategic move towards harnessing the potential of India's National Waterways. This endeavor not only facilitates smoother water transportation but also underscores the importance of efficient and sustainable inland water transport systems in fostering economic growth and connectivity in the region.

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