Inland Waterways

2nd phase of River Information System


Mains Paper 3: Economy | Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, and Railways etc.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: NW-1, Jal Vikas Marg Project, RIS, Hilsa Fish

Mains level: Enhancing cargo transport with the help of Inland Waterways


  • To boost cargo movement on Ganga, Union Transport Minister has inaugurated the second phase of river information system (RIS) between Farakka and Patna.

River Information System (RIS)

  1. RIS is a combination of tracking and meteorological equipment with specialized software designed to optimize traffic and transport processes in inland navigation.
  2. The system enables swift electronic data transfer between mobile vessels and shore (base stations) through advance and real-time exchange of information so as to ensure navigation safety in inland waterways.
  3. It also provides virtual navigational aids to guide the vessel during navigation.
  4. It will help in crisis management and enhanced inland navigation safety by preventing ship-to-ship collisions, ship-bridge collisions, groundings etc.

Implementation of Phase II

  1. The project is aimed at boosting the movement of cargo and fishery development in river Ganga.
  2. Under phase II, five base stations – Manihari, Bhagalpur, Munger, Barh and Hatidah and one control station have been made at Patna.
  3. IWAI is implementing the project in three phases on NW-1.
  4. The inauguration of 2nd phase of RIS will enhance swift electronic data transfer between mobile vessels and base stations on shore through advance and real-time exchange of information.

Other phases of RIS

  1. Earlier, in 2016, the first phase of RIS – 545 km on Haldia- Farakka stretch was commissioned.
  2. Work on third, 356 kms Patna-Varanasi stretch is currently in progress.

Hilsa Fish

  1. Hilsa has a history of migrating to Allahabad in the Ganga river system from Bangladesh.
  2. Though it’s a saltwater fish, it migrates to sweet waters of the Ganges from the Bay of Bengal.
  3. It travels upstream of the river during the mating seasons and returns to its natural abode after spawning.

A passage for Hilsa Fish

  1. Fish pass/Fish way is a structure on or around artificial and natural barriers (such as dams, locks and waterfalls) to facilitate natural fish migration.
  2. Most fishways enable fish to pass around the barriers by swimming into the waters on the other side.
  3. Under Jal Marg Vikas Pariyojana, a fish pass has been envisaged for the free movement of Hilsa at Farakka Navigation Lock.
  4. After the construction of Farakka Navigation Lock in 1976, movement of Hilsa, which once reached up to Prayagraj also, was restricted up to Farakka only.
  5. Based on research and breeding season of Hilsa Fish, the operation of navigational lock will be regulated to facilitate Hilsa movement from Hoogly-Bhagirathi-River system to the upstream in river Ganga and vice-versa.
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments