Union Shipping and Water resources minister Nitin Gadkari has hailed as historic a development in the logistics space, which he says is happening for the first time in the country since Independence.
Taking to Twitter, Gadkari, who also holds other key portfolios such as the Road Transport and Highways ministry and the River development and Ganga rejuvenation ministry, highlighted that for the first time in India, a transport container was being moved on an inland vessel.
The cargo belongs to global food and beverage giant PepsiCo, which is moving 16 containers from Kolkata to Varanasi over the river Ganga on the vessel MV RN Tagore.
As per Nitin Gadkari, the Prime Minister will be on hand to receive the container vessel when it completes its journey via the National Waterway 1 (NW1) on November 12 at the newly developed Multimodal Terminal. Narendra Modi, whose parliamentary constituency is Varanasi, will also dedicate the terminal to the nation.
Elaborating on the terminal, Gadkari hailed its completion time, and also revealed that PM Modi will also dedicate the two road projects to the nation.
Gadkari had tweeted when the project was announced, three-and-a-half years ago.
The SagarMala project relates to the Modi government's stated goal of creating over a hundred waterways in the country, thereby providing a new logistics (and tourism) network that leverages the country's river resources. It is connected to and relies upon river interlinking, which is aimed at ensuring that water flows through rivers in India through the seasons, whether the rivers be seasonal or perennial.
Under the project, 266 port modernisation projects are to be implemented over the next decade with an investment of Rs 1.45 lakh crore. Rs 500 crore has also been earmarked for the procurement of vessels.