To promote Inland Water Transport in the country 111 waterways (including 5 existing and 106 new) have been declared as National Waterways (NWs) under the National Waterways Act, 2016 which came into effect from 12th April, 2016.  Based on the outcome of techno-economic feasibility and Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) of NWs, 25 NWs have been found viable by Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) for cargo/ passenger movement.   The list of the 25 NWs is given below.  Developmental activities have been initiated in 13 NWs.

Rs. 96.00 crore has been sanctioned for development of the stretch between Vijayawada to Muktayala in Krishna River of NW-4 in Andhra Pradesh for following works: –

(a)  Establishment of four Floating Pontoons,

(b)  Dredging as per requirement

(c) Land acquisition for construction of 3 Nos. of fixed Ro-Ro terminals at Muktyala, Harichandrapuram and Ibrahimpatnam.

During the last two years i.e. 2019-20 and 2020-21 Rs. 18.87 crore and Rs. 7.66 crore respectively has been allocated to Andhra Pradesh.

Bulk cargo like coal, fly-ash and iron ore are found economical & cost-effective for movement through Inland Water Transport (IWT) which is environment friendly and less pollutant mode of transport than Rail & Road.  The cargo through Inland Ship is transported in barges and there is no direct contact of the cargo with water and therefore no ecological impacts. 

Operation of Ferries is a State subject.  Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) established through IWAI Act, 1985 for the regulation and development of National Waterways for purposes of shipping and navigation has notified (with the prior approval of the Central Govt.)  following regulations for safety considerations-

            (i)  Prevention of Collision on National Waterways Regulations, 2002 and

            (ii) National waterway, Safety of Navigation and Shipping Regulations, 2002       

Further Government has enacted the Inland Vessels (I.V.) Act, 2021 replacing I.V. Act 1917 for uniformity of rules and regulation for inland navigation in the country covering safety considerations.             


Sl. No. National Waterway No. Details of Waterways STATES Status
1 National Waterway 1 Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hooghly River System (Haldia – Allahabad) Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand & West Bengal Development taken up with Assistance from World Bank Jal Marg Vikas Project
2 National Waterway 2 Brahmaputra River (Dhubri – Sadiya) Assam Development taken up as per approved SFC for FY 20-21 to 2024-25
3 National Waterway 16 Barak River Assam
4 National Waterway 3 West Coast Canal (Kottapuram – Kollam), Champakara and Udyogmandal Canals Kerala Mostly Operational Waterways and development and maintenance work taken up.



5 National Waterway 4 Krishna River (Vijayawada – Muktyala) Andhra Pradesh
6 National Waterway 5 Dhamra-Paradio via Mangalagadi to Pankopal Odisha
7 National Waterway 8 Alappuzha- Changanassery Canal Kerala
8 National Waterway 9 Alappuzha-Kottayam – Athirampuzha Canal Kerala
Alternate route: 11.5km
9 National Waterway 27 Cumberjua River Goa
10 National Waterway 68 Mandovi River Goa
11 National Waterway 86 Rupnarayan River West Bengal
12 National Waterway 97 Sunderbans Waterway West Bengal
13 National Waterway 111 Zuari River Goa
14 National Waterway 10 Amba River Maharashtra
Projects at appraisal


15 National Waterway 40 Ghagra River Bihar
16 National Waterway 44 Ichamati River West Bengal
17 National Waterway 52 Kali River Karnataka
18 National Waterway 57 Kopili River Assam
19 National Waterway 25 Chapora River Goa
20 National Waterway 37 Gandak River Bihar
21 National Waterway 28 Dabhol Creek Vasisti River Maharashtra Substantial cargo moves in tidal waters/river mouth under respective State maritime board. No interventions are contemplated by IWAI as of now.
22 National Waterway 73 Narmada River Maharashtra & Gujarat
23 National Waterway 85 Revadanda Creek – Kundalika River System Maharashtra
24 National Waterway 94 Sone River Bihar
25 National Waterway 100 Tapi River Maharashtra & Gujarat

This information was given by Union Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways Shri Sarbananda Sonowal in a written reply in Lok Sabha yesterday.