Water Transport

Water Transport

Water transport refers to the movement of goods and people through waterways such as rivers, canals, lakes, seas, and oceans using different types of watercraft like ships, boats, and barges. Water transport has been one of the oldest and most important modes of transport for carrying out international trade and commerce, as well as for transportation of goods and people within a country.

Water transport has several advantages over other modes of transport, such as:

  1. Cost-effective: Water transport is cost-effective as it requires less infrastructure and fuel consumption as compared to other modes of transport.
  2. Capacity: Water transport can carry heavy and bulky cargo, which cannot be transported by other modes of transport.
  3. Environment-friendly: Water transport is considered as one of the most environment-friendly modes of transport as it produces less pollution as compared to other modes of transport.
  4. Accessibility: Water transport can reach remote areas which are inaccessible by other modes of transport.

India has a vast network of waterways that comprises of about 14,500 km of navigable waterways, including rivers, canals, and backwaters. The National Waterways Act, 2016 declared 111 waterways as National Waterways to provide infrastructure for the development of inland water transport in the country.

In India, water transport is mainly used for the transportation of goods like coal, iron ore, fertilizer, cement, and food grains. It is also used for passenger transportation in certain regions of the country, such as Kerala, Goa, and the Sundarbans.

The major ports in India, such as Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, and Visakhapatnam, handle a significant amount of cargo traffic through water transport. The government of India has also launched the Sagarmala Project to promote the development of the maritime sector in the country and to harness the potential of India’s long coastline.

Overall, water transport plays a significant role in the transportation sector of India and has the potential to contribute more to the country’s economic growth and development.

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