National Waterways in India – UPSC Exam Preparation

The Union Public Service Commission conducts Civil Services IAS Exam annually. The exam is conducted in three stages and they are- the Preliminary exam, Mains exam and the personal interview / the personality test. The Prelims exam consists of two papers- General Studies Paper I and General Studies Paper II (CSAT Paper). Candidates should have relevant knowledge in History, Current affairs, Geography, economics, and general science to tackle the General Studies Paper I. The geography syllabus for Prelims exam consists of Indian geography and World geography.

National Waterways UPSC

Transportation plays an important role in the development of a country and especially it is of great significance for a developing country like India. The country is bestowed with a plethora of diverse topography which enables different kinds of transportation. National Waterways Act came into effect in 2016. It proposed 106 additional National Waterways and merges 5 existing Acts which have declared the 5 National Waterways. In 1986, Government of India created Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) for regulation and development of Inland Waterways for navigation and shipping. There are 5 national waterways in India which are operational.

  • As per the National Waterways Act of 2016, there are 111 officially notified Inland National Waterways in India that has been identified for the purpose of inland waterways transport.
  • Out of these 111 Inland waterways, 106 were created in the year 2016.
  • A total of 20275.5 Kms is covered by these Inland Waterways. 
  • Passenger vessels, as well as cruise vessels, ply on these waterways.

National Waterways


River system



National waterway 1

Allahabad- Haldia

Ganga- Bhagirathi-Hooghly river system


1620 km

National waterway 2


Brahmaputra River


891 km

National waterway 3


West Coast Canal, Champakara Canal and Udyogamandal Canal


205 km

National waterway 4

Kakinada – Puducherry

River Krishna


1095 km

National waterway 5

Talcher – Dhamra

Brahmani River


623 km


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