In a bid to reduce logistic costs significantly and to enhance the company’s green initiative, Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL) has entered into an agreement with Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) for transporting cars via inland vessels.
For this purpose IWAI will be initiating a “Roll-on and Roll-off” (Ro-Ro) service between Varanasi and Kolkata and deployed a vessel at Varanasi to transport vehicles to Kolkata via National Waterways-1 on the Ganga river.
When comparing costs of transportation via railways and roads to that of water transportation, costs should stand at INR 0.50 paise per km as against INR 1 by railways and INR 1.50 by roads. This will result in huge savings in transportation cost for Maruti Suzuki India.
In markets across Europe, China and Korea, transportation of goods via waterways stands at 40% while in India, this figure has only recently increased from 3.5% to 6%. Only 5,200 kms of rivers and 4,000 kms of canals can be accessed by a mechanized craft. The Parliament has just passed a bill to convert 111 rivers across the country into national waterways and hence this figure could rise substantially in the months ahead.
Minister of State for Shipping, Radhakrishnan has stated that the ‘Jal Marg Vikas’ project has been commissioned with technical and financial assistance from the World Bank. This will enable capacity increase across the National Waterway-1 from Haldia to Allahabad across 1,620 kms. The project could see at least 1,500 ton vessels plying through this route and will be completed in 6 years at an estimated cost of INR 4,200 crores.
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