Vice president Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday laid the foundation stone for the first phase of the 2,890-km National Waterway-4 (NW-4) at Amravati in Andhra Pradesh.
The first phase involves the development of a water channel from Muktyala to Vijayawada on Krishna river along with four floating terminals and three fixed terminals to handle cargo operations.
The project will provide an efficient logistics solution to boost the economic growth of the region and facilitate the development of Amravati during its early development stage as a substantial construction material is expected to be transported on this stretch.
The inland waterway was declared National Waterway-4 in November 2008 with a total length of 1,078 km. Under the National Waterway Act, 2016, this was increased to 2,890 km.
The NW-4 would be developed in three phases. In the first phase, the 82 km stretch from Muktyala to Vijayawada will be developed. This would be followed by the second phase where 233 km will be developed from Vijayawada to Kakinada and Rajahmundry to Polavaram on Godavari river.
The third phase will connect Commamur canal, Buckingham canal and the balance stretches of river Krishna and Godavari across 573 km.
An official statement said dredging work on the Muktyala-Vijaywada stretch began in May this year and is expected to be completed by June 2019. Besides, a proposal for Phase-II has been recommended by Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) board for Public Infrastructure Board (PIB) and cabinet consideration. The authority plans to form a special purpose vehicle (SPV) for the project by November 2017.