India has 14,500 km of navigable rivers and canals, of which National Waterways currently constitute around 4,500 km – divided into six geographically separate systems.
Among these, National Waterway-1 (NW-1), designated in 1986, is the longest. It is a natural waterway that links the ocean gateway at Kolkata. The Kolkata to Allahabad 1,620 km inland route via the Hooghly/ Bhagirathi and the Ganga rivers pass through the States of West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
Accordingly, IWAI has applied for World Bank (WB) loan assistance to implement its project for development of NW-1 in 02 phases. Phase-1 covers the Haldia - Varanasi stretch and Phase-2 covers Varanasi –Allahabad stretch. Multimodal Terminals at various locations along the NW1 are planned. The development of Multi Modal IWT Terminals at Varanasi and Sahibganj are part of this development plan.