Fly boats to connect Agra and Delhi

11 Jun 2016 | By Vaishnavi

Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said that the central government plans to connect Agra and Delhi by sea-planes.

Gadkari stated that the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), the Delhi Jal Board and the Transport Ministry would be stakeholders in the project.

The 'fly boat' project is expected to start in three months.

Airports Authority of India has been asked to frame the rules and regulations.

In context: Fly-boats to connect Delhi and Agra

5 May 2015National Waterways Bill, 2015

The National Waterways Bill, 2015 was introduced in Lok Sabha on 5 May'15 by the Minister of Road Transport and Highways and Shipping, Mr. Nitin Gadkari.

The Bill merges the five Acts that govern the existing national waterways.

The Bill identifies additional 101 waterways as national waterways. The Schedule of the Bill also specifies the extent of development to be undertaken on each waterway.

Existing National waterways

India currently has five inland waterways as national waterways.These include waterways on Ganga from Haldia to Allahabad and on Brahmaputra from Dhubri to Sadiya,Kottapuram-Kollam stretch of the West Coast ,Lakhipur-Bhanga of river Barak in Assam.
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Objectives of the bill

Objectives Objectives of the bill

The Bill pitches inland waterways as a fuel efficient, cost effective and environment friendly mode of transport.

It discusses how inland waterways has received lesser investment as compared to roads and railways.

The bill states that inland waterways are lagging behind other modes of transport and stressed the need for the central government to have an evolved policy for integrated development of inland waterways.

Environmental concernsEcological concerns over inland waterways

Environmentalists have been opposing the bill.

They claimed the proposed integration of waterways by dams will change the natural water flow in the rivers causing serious ecological concerns.

Himanshu Thakkar of the South Asian Network on Dams says, "state governments are not realizing how it will impact them and would be suicidal for them at the time when extreme climate change is being witnessed."

Inland waterways in other countries

China, EU and Korea channelize over 40% of their passenger and freight traffic through inland waterways. In India, the proportion is currently is only 3.5%. Inland waterways are confined to a few states, Goa, West Bengal, Assam and Kerala.

11 Jun 2016Fly boats to connect Agra and Delhi