National Waterways-1


Index Map of National Waterways-1

Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hooghly river system from Allahabad to Haldia was declared as National Waterway No.1 vide National Waterway (Allahabad-Haldia stretch of the Ganga Bhagirathi- Hooghly river) Act 1982 (49 of 1982). It became operative from 27th Oct 1986 after the formation of the IWAI. The waterway extends from Haldia to Allahabad for a distance of 1620 kms.
The Hooghly river portion of the waterway from Haldia to Nabadwip is tidal.Sea going vessels navigate up to Calcutta (140 kms) and the fairway up to Calcutta is maintained by the Calcutta Port Trust. From Calcutta up to Tribeni there is no restrictions for navigation by inland vessels of a loaded draft up to 4m. From Nabadwip to Jangipur the waterway is formed by Bhagirathi river. Bhagirathi river is a regulated river because of the Barrages at Farakka and Jangipur.With the controlled discharge from the Farakka Barrage and limited river conservancy work a navigable depth of 2m is maintained in this route throughout the year.

Passenger Jetty-2 at Lot8

From Farakka upstream the navigable route is through the main Ganga river. The Feeder Canal and the navigation lock at Farakka become the link between the Bhagirathi and main Ganga up­stream Farakka Barrage. The large variation in discharge along with unstable morphological condition of bank and bed, heavy sediment load,continuous braiding and meandering make develop­ment of navigational channel acomplex task.
NW-1 stretch is defined as Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hooghly river system from Allahabad to Haldia (1620km).This waterway is declared as National Waterway in 1986.NW-1 is passing through UP, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal.Length of Haldia–Farakka waterway is 560Km, of Farakka–Patna is 460Km and of Patna–Allahabad is 600 km. Figure:1 shows the index map of National Waterway–1.

CSD Mahananda dredging at Lot8

Fairway Development

The stretch between Haldia and Tribeni (196 km) is tidal and the least Available Depth (LAD) of more than 2 m is maintained naturally therein. During 2008-09, to maintain LAD in stretch upstream of Tribeni, 3000 m of bandals were erected and maintained in Tribeni-Farakka (364 km),and 15,705 m in Farakka-Allahabad (1060 km) stretches. In addition, 66,000 m3 of dredging was carried out in Tribeni-Farakka stretch and 1,02,000 m3 in Farakka–Varanasi stretch by deploying three Cutter Suction Dredgers (CSD) which are owned by IWAI. LAD of 2.5m was maintained between Haldia and Farakka (560 km) for about 330 days. LAD of 1.8 to 2m for about 300 days was maintained between Farakka and Patna (460 km). 1.5 m LAD between Patna and Varanasi (363 km) was maintained for about 330 days. However, between Varanasi-Allahabad, LAD of 1.2 m only could be maintained for about 300 days since proposed contract dredging could not be carried out because of unsatisfactory response to the dredging tender. Construction of two CSD units [a unit comprises one Cutter Suction Dredger (CSD), one Work Boat (WB) and one Accommodation Boat (AB)] progressed during the year through different shipbuilders who were awarded the work of construction and supply of these vessels.Both the ABs were supplied during 2008-09 while CSDs and WBs are expected to be delivered in 2009-10.

Cutter Suction Dredger Mahananda


For construction of high-level jetty at Patna, CPWD was conveyed the sanction of revised cost estimate of Rs 29.93 cr. CPWD awarded the work and construction work is in progress. They have been requested to complete the work by June 2010. Government of Bihar was requested for acquiring 1 acre of land for this high level jetty. At this site, the construction of low-level jetty was already completed during 2007-08. For construction of permanent terminal at GR jetty, IWAI had entrusted the work to CPWD on deposit basis. During 2008-09, CPWD awarded the work to the construction contractor and mobilization of machinery etc was done. For construction of permanent terminal at Varanasi, IWAI had entrusted the work to M/s. EPI Ltd on deposit basis and estimate/drawing/design etc were prepared by them. For a permanent terminal at Haldia also, alternative sites were inspected and it was decided in principle that its construction and management may be taken up on PPP mode through Project Development Organisation/Project Development Committee (PDO/PDC) mechanism, IWAI has with M/s.IL&FS–IDC.

Farakka Lock gate

Besides these fixed terminals, floating terminals also exist at Haldia, Kolkata, Shantipur, Farakka, Rajmahal, Sahibganj, Manihari, Bhagalpur, Semaria, Patna, Buxar, Kaithy, Chunar and Allahabad. These terminals were maintained and used for transportation of cargo. For upgrading floating terminals, construction of twelve terminal pontoons for Haldia, Diamond Harbour, Kolkata, Shantipur, Katwa and Farakka, work has been completed.


Temporary channel marks for day navigation were erected and maintained between Tribeni and Allahabad all round the year. Besides, fortnightly thalweg surveys during low water period and monthly during flood period were carried out, river notices issued and pilotage provided to the cargo vessels. Night navigation aids (351 navigational lights fitted over country boats) were also maintained between Tribeni and Farakka (364 km). Tender for navigational lights fitted over country boats in Farakka-Patna stretch were also invited. To supplement these aids and for providing state of art 24 hrs navigation aids in the entire waterway, DGPS stations are proposed to be set up at Katwa, Bhagalpur, Patna and Varanasi. For this, civil work at Bhagalpur has been completed and DGPS instruments delivered during 2008-09. For trestle towers, supply of buoys and lights etc works were awarded and were under progress. Actions for taking over land for setting up of DGPS stations at Katwa, Patna and Varanasi were also initiated.

Facilities for safe 24x7 navigation

IWAI is also regularly issuing fortnightly river notices for the entire stretch of NW-1 (monthly during the flood season).24 hour Night navigation facilities are in place upto Farakka and this is to be extended upto varanasi by March 2010.A new DGPS station has been commissioned by December ,2010.Once they are commissioned,all navigational aids necessary for safe navigation would be in place on NW-1.These facilities would considerably reduce the turn around time for vessels.


Salient Feature

Salient Features of National Waterways-1

Name National Waterways-1
Date of Declaration Declared as National Waterway-1 w.e.f 27th October 1986.
Total Length 1620 Kms
Stretch Details

* Farakka-Patna- 460 Km

  • Patna-Allahabad-600 Km


North End Allahabad
South End Haldia (Sagar)
Owner Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI)
Operator Central Inland Water Transport Corporation (CIWTC)
Least available depth (LAD)

* 2.5m Farakka-Patna

  • 2m Patna-Varanasi
  • 1.5m Varanasi-Allahabad



* Farakka - Munger -249

  • Munger-Patna-162 nos.
  • Patna- Ghazipur-257
  • Ghazipur Chunar-143 (up to Varanasi)

Day navigational aids on entire stretch Solar operated Navigational lights fixed on country boats.|

Important Terminals
There are 18 Floating Terminals in the entire route and 2 Fixed RCC Jetty-Haldia , Botanical Garden Jetty, BISN Jetty Jetty, Shantipur , Katwa, Hazardwari , Farakka, G.R.Jetty-2, Rajmahal (Manglahat), Sahebganj (Samdaghat), Bateshwarsthan, Bhagalpur, Munger , Semaria, Barh, Buxar, Ghazipur, Rajghat(Varanasi), Allahabad, Patna (Gaighat)
At present the waterway is being used by tourism vessels, ODC Carriers, IWAI vessels etc. At present several power companies have initiated action for setting up Thermal Power projects and extensive movement of over dimensional cargo (ODC), imported coal for NTPC projects is planned to operate during the next 5-6 years, while a number of ODC consignments and tourist vessels (Pandaw cruise from Kolkata to Varanasi and VIVADA cruise vessel from Kolkata to Murshidabad) were recorded to have moved through the waterway during 2009-10
Fairway Development A fairway of 45 m bottom width with 3.0/ 2.0/ 1.5 m least available depth is being provided for the entire waterway.
Cargo Owners
Some of the major stakeholders in moving the cargo on this waterway include Hindustan Lever Ltd., Ambuja Cements, Tirupati Vancom Ltd., Lafarge Cement, P K S Ltd. Saf , Fermion besides Public sector companies like HFCL, IOCL, Haldia Petrochemicals, FCI, ONGC, Hindustan Paper Corporation etc.
Limit of NW-1
North- Western Limit: Rail cum Road bridge at Allahabad across the river Ganga, about 2 kms upstream of the confluence of the rivers Ganga and Yamuna at Sangam.
South-Eastern Limit: Inland waterway limit on the tidal waters of the river from a line drawn between no.1 Refuge house at the entrance of Baratola river (Channel creek) to a position 2.5 kms south of Saugor lighthouse, and then connected to the right bank at the entrance to the Hijili or Russulpore river and river Ganga, lock canal and Feeder canal at Farakka, river Bhagirathi and Hoogly.

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