Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari will flag off the first movement of cement cargo through National Waterway (NW)-2 on the Brahmaputra river in Assam on Friday under the government's flagship Sagarmala programme.
Two barges of 200 metric tonne capacity each will carry 400 tonne of cement from the Inland Waterways Authority of India's (IWAI) Pandu Port to Dhubri covering a distance of 255 km, a statement said.
"With this, IWAI will be initiating regular cargo movement through inland waterways under the Sagarmala programme," it said.
Transportation of cargo through NW-2 from Pandu to Dhubri will help save 150,000 tonne km of road transportation per trip and 300 km of road travel while reducing the logistics costs.
"IWAI will charge only Rs 318 per tonne as waterway transportation charges from Pandu to Dhubri or Hatsingimari to enthuse entrepreneurs and logistic operators to shift to the cost effective and eco-friendly mode of transportation that also reduces congestion on road," the statement said.
"IWAI has been working closely with major cement firms like Dalmia, Star and Amrit, and appreciates interest shown by them in cargo movement through waterways. Efforts are on to get other cargo owners to shift their transportation to waterways as this can be a key enabler for reduction of logistics cost and open up more business and employment opportunities."
During his visit, Gadkari will also lay the foundation stone for bank protection work on Majuli Island