Inland Waterways Authority of India will transport container cargo belonging to the food and beverage giant PepsiCo from Kolkata to Varanasi on river Ganga on Tuesday. This would be the country’s first container movement on inland vessel post-independence, and a milestone moment in the history of India’s IWT sector.
PepsiCo will move 16 containers, equivalent to 16 truckloads, filled with food and snacks in the vessel MV RN Tagore which will reach Varanasi in 9-10 days. MV RN Tagore will make its return journey with fertilizers belonging to IFFCO that will be procured from its Phulpur plant near Allahabad.
Container cargo transport comes with several inherent advantages. Even as it reduces the handling cost, allows easier modal shift, reduces pilferages and damage, it also enables cargo owners to reduce their carbon footprints.
The government is developing NW-1 in river Ganga under JMVP from Haldia to Varanasi of approximately 1390 kilometres with the technical and financial assistance of the World Bank at an estimated cost of Rs.5369 crore.
Pilot movements on National Waterways are currently being done on various stretches from the month of August this year. More than 15 of them have already been successfully completed, including integrated movements through river Ganga, Indo-Bangladesh Protocol Route and river Brahmaputra. The PepsiCo cargo will be the first container movement on inland waterways in the country.