Wednesday, December 1, 2010

TRANSPORT - Waterways

Water Transport of India

Most efficient, least costly and environment friendly means of transportation.

The total length of navigable waterways in Indian comprising rivers, canals, backwaters, etc, is 14,500 km out of which 3700 km is navigable by mechanised boats.

The government has recognised the following National Waterways of India:

  • NW 1: Allahabad to Haldia – 1,629 km
  • NW 2: Sadia to Dhubari (on Brahmaputra river) – 819 km
  • NW 3: Kollam to Kottapuram – 186 km
  • NW 4: Kakinada to Marakkanam (Along Godawari and Krishna river) – 1,100 km

Ports in India

  • The Waterways Authority in India divides Indian ports into three categories, major, minor and intermediate.
  • India has about 190 ports in all, with 12 major and the rest intermediate and minor.
  • The 12 Major Ports are:



Kolkata (including Haldia)

West Bengal




Andhra Pradesh


Tamil Nadu


Tamil Nadu


Tamil Nadu



New Mangalore




Jawaharlal Nehru






Salient Features :

  • Kolkata Port (including Haldia): Kolkata is a riverine port, located about 128 km from the Bay of Bengal on the banks of river Hooghly. Haldia was developed because excessive silting prevented the entry of large marine vessels in Kolkata.
  • Paradip Port: Located on the Orissa coast along the Bay of Bengal. India exports raw iron to Japan from here.
  • Vishakhapatnam Port: The deepest port, located in Andhra Pradesh. It serves the Bhilai and Rourkela steel plants.
  • Chennai Port: Oldest artificial harbour. This port ranks only second after Mumbai in terms of the traffic handling capacity.
  • Ennore Port: Declared a major port in 2001. It is the first port with corporate participation. Provided with all the modern facilities for handling the thermal coal required for Tamil Nadu Electricity Board Power Station.
  • Tuticorin Port: It came into existence during the reign of Pandya kings. It has an artificial deep sea harbour.
  • Cochin Port: A fine natural harbour located on Kerala coast. Handles the export of tea, coffee and spices and import of petroleum and fertilisers.
  • New Mangalore Port: The ‘Gateway of Karnataka’. Handles the export of iron-ore of Kudremukh.
  • Marmugao Port : It has a naval base. India’s leading iron-ore port.
  • Mumbai Port: A natural port, India’s busiest. A new port, Nhava Sheva, is being developed near Mumbai port.
  • Jawaharlal Nehru Port: Occupies the 5th position in the world’s faster growing ports.
  • Kandla Port: Called the ‘offspring of partition’ as it was developed after the partition as a substitute of Karachi port. It is a tidal port and a free trade zone located in the Rann of Kachchh.

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