Inland Waterways Authority of India

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Inland Waterways Authority of India
भारतीय अंतर्देशीय जलमार्ग प्राधिकरण
Agency overview
Formed27 October 1986; 32 years ago (1986-10-27)
TypeStatutory Authority
HeadquartersA-13, Sector-1 Noida, Uttar Pradesh
Agency executive
  • Amita Prasad, Chairman
Parent departmentMinistry of Shipping

India has an extensive network of inland waterways in the form of rivers, canals, backwaters and creeks. The total navigable length is 14,500 km, out of which about 5200 km of the river and 4000 km of canals can be used by mechanised crafts. Freight transportation by waterways is highly under-utilised in India compared to other large countries and geographic areas like the United States, China and the European Union. The total cargo moved (in tonne kilometres) by the inland waterway was just 0.1% of the total inland traffic in India, compared to the 21% figure for United States. Cargo transportation in an organised manner is confined to a few waterways in Goa, West Bengal, Assam, and Kerala. Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) is the statutory authority in charge of the waterways in India. It was constituted under NHAI Act-1985 by parliament of India[1] Its headquarters is located in Noida, UP. It does the function of building the necessary infrastructure in these waterways, surveying the economic feasibility of new projects and also administration. On 31st August 2018, IWAI made 13 standardised state-of-art design public for the transportation of cargo and passengers keeping in mind Ganges complex river morphology, hydraulics, acute bends, currents etc. in National Waterway - 1. The first implementation will be between Varanasi-Haldia stretch in assistance and investment from World Bank.


Inland Waterways Authority of India (Hindi: भारतीय अंतर्देशीय जलमार्ग प्राधिकरण) (IWAI) was created by Government of India on 27 October 1986 for development and regulation of Inland waterways for shipping and navigation. The Authority primarily undertakes projects for development and maintenance of Inland Waterway Terminal infrastructure on National Waterways through grant received from Ministry of Shipping, Road Transport and Highways. The head office is at Noida. The Authority also has its regional offices at Patna, Kolkata, Guwahati and Kochi and sub-offices at Prayagraj, Varanasi, Bhagalpur, Farrakka and Kollam.

Classifications & Standards[edit]

Classification Tonnage Length (M) Breadth (M) Draught (M) Air Draft (M) Barge Composition
Class-1 100 32 5 1 4 Self Propelled
200 80 5 1 4 2 Barges + 1 Tug
Class-2 300 45 8 1.2 5 Self Propelled
600 110 8 1.2 5 2 Barges + 1 Tug
Class-3 500 58 9 1.5 6 Self Propelled
1000 141 9 1.5 6 2 Barges + 1 Tug
Class-4 1000 70 12 1.8 7 Self Propelled
2000 170 12 1.8 7 2 Barges + 1 Tug
Class-5 1000 70 12 1.8 10 Self Propelled
4000 170 24 1.8 10 2*2 Barges + 1 Tug
Class-6 2000 86 14 2.5 10 Self Propelled
4000 210 14 2.5 10 2 Barges + 1 Tug
Class-7 2000 86 14 2.5 10 Self Propelled
8000 210 28 2.5 10 2*2 Barges + 1 Tug


Till 2010, an amount of 1,117 crore (US$160 million) was spent on Inland waterways of India.[2]


Amita Prasad is the current Chairman of the Authority.[2]

National Waterways[edit]

Based on the data available on navigable waterways, compiled by the ministry of statistics and programme implementation, by 2015-16 a total of 106 water bodies with a minimum length of 25 km (16 mi) were declared as national waterways.[2] These have been classified into 3 categories based on financial viability and location as well as into 8 clusters based on locations. In first phase, 8 national water (NW) of category-1 that are considered most viable will be developed. There are 60 category II NWs in coastal regions with tidal stretches and feasibility reports for 54 of these (6 are in phase-1) will be delivered from May 2016 onwards[3]

National Waterway 1[edit]

National Waterway 2[edit]

National Waterway 3[edit]

National Waterway 4[edit]

  • KakinadaPudhucherry stretch of canals and the Kaluvelly Tank, Bhadrachalam – Rajahmundry stretch of River Godavari and Wazirabad – Vijayawada stretch of River Krishna
  • Estd = November 2008
  • Length = 1,095 km (680 mi)

National Waterway 5[edit]

National Waterway 6[edit]

NW-6 is a Waterway.

  • In Assam, Lakhipur to Bhanga of river Barak
  • Estd = 2016
  • Length = 121 km (75 mi)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ See section 3 of the act
  2. ^ a b c d e Roy, Vijay C; Mukul, Jyoti (29 July 2015), Govt plans to convert 101 rivers into national waterways: Amitabh Verma, New Delhi: Business Standard
  3. ^ Govt groups 106 national waterways into 3 categories
  4. ^ "Consolidated Environmental Impact Assessment Report for National Waterways-1" (pdf). report. Ministry of Shipping, Government of India. May 2016. Retrieved 12 August 2016.

External links[edit]