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)
- RIS is a combination of tracking and meteorological equipment with specialized software designed to optimize traffic and transport processes in inland navigation.
- 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.
- It also provides virtual navigational aids to guide the vessel during navigation.
- 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
- The project is aimed at boosting the movement of cargo and fishery development in river Ganga.
- Under phase II, five base stations – Manihari, Bhagalpur, Munger, Barh and Hatidah and one control station have been made at Patna.
- IWAI is implementing the project in three phases on NW-1.
- 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
- Earlier, in 2016, the first phase of RIS – 545 km on Haldia- Farakka stretch was commissioned.
- Work on third, 356 kms Patna-Varanasi stretch is currently in progress.
- Hilsa has a history of migrating to Allahabad in the Ganga river system from Bangladesh.
- Though it’s a saltwater fish, it migrates to sweet waters of the Ganges from the Bay of Bengal.
- It travels upstream of the river during the mating seasons and returns to its natural abode after spawning.
A passage for Hilsa Fish
- 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.
- Most fishways enable fish to pass around the barriers by swimming into the waters on the other side.
- Under Jal Marg Vikas Pariyojana, a fish pass has been envisaged for the free movement of Hilsa at Farakka Navigation Lock.
- 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.
- 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.