Over 120 million tonnes of cargo have been transported through national waterways in Gujarat in the last five years —accounting for 34 per cent of the total cargo movement through inland water transport in India.
The National Waterways Act 2016 had recognized 111 waterways, of which 26 were found viable for cargo and passenger movements, including National Waterway 73 (NW73) on the Narmada river and NW 100 on the Tapti river.
In Gujarat, cargo movement through national waterways began in 2017-18, when 11.52 million tonnes of cargo were transported. This had increased to 25.72 million tonnes in 2020-21. Till February 28 this year, 26.68 metric tonnes had been clocked for 2021-22.
Of the 25.72 million metric tonnes of cargo transported in 2020-21, 25.6 million metric tonnes were conducted through Tapti. On the other hand, only 82,311 metric tonnes happened through Narmada. Similarly, From April 2021 to February 2022, Tapti handled 26.5 million metric tonnes of cargo while Narmada handled only 36,399 metric tonnes.
Gujarat is only second to Maharashtra in handling cargo through waterways, transporting 178.59 million tonnes of cargo since 2016-17.
The other waterways that have reported cargo transportation since 2016 are:
Sunderban waterways, Goa Waterways, Brahmaputra river, Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hoogly river system, Krishna river, Kottapuram-Kollam-Champakara and Udyogmandal canals.
Among the 62 national waterways found unviable economically were National Waterway 48, which is the Jawai-Luni-Rann of the Kutch river system that is part of Gujarat and Rajasthan and the National Waterway 66 on the Mahi river.