Varanasi’s new multi-modal terminal inaugurated by PM Narendra Modi: In a bid to promote inland waterways as a cheaper and more eco-friendly means of transport, especially for cargo movement, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated a multi-modal terminal on river Ganga in Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi. PM Modi also received India’s first container cargo transported from Kolkata on the inland waterways. The first consignment had set sail from Kolkata in the last week of October, containing food and beverage belonging to PEPSICO (India). The project is the first of the three multi-modal terminal projects and two inter-modal terminal projects, which are being constructed on the river Ganga. The multi-modal terminals, also known as MMTs are being developed as part of the government’s Jal Marg Vikas project. According to the Ministry of Shipping, the Jal Marg Vikas project aims to develop the stretch of river Ganga between Varanasi and Haldi for navigation of large vessels up to 1500-2000 tonnes weight. Here are 7 things to know about the newly inaugurated Multi Modal Terminal:
- The MMT, which is the first one on National Waterway-1 has been developed over a land of 33.34 hectares. The phase 1 of the project has been constructed at a cost of Rs 206.84 crore.
- The terminal capacity of the project, which was started in June 2016 and completed in November 2018 is 1.26 MPTA.
- The jetty is of length 200 m, width 42 m with berthing and mooring facility as well as two mobile harbour cranes, which are the main ingredients of the project are ready for operations.
- Also, approach road, internal road, stone pitching works, bank protection, shell structure of ancillary buildings, worker amenity building are ready for operations.
- The management, operation and further development of the MMT is proposed to be entrusted to an operator on PPP (public–private partnership) model.
- The selection process of the PPP Operator through an International Competitive Bidding is at an advanced stage, at present. Moreover, it is expected to be completed by the end of this year.
- The ministry in a press release stated that the MMT project and proposed Freight Village at Varanasi are likely to generate 500 direct employment as well as more than 2000 indirect employment opportunities.