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National Waterways in India - UPSC Exam Preparation

The Union Public Service Commission conducts the Civil Services IAS Exam annually. The exam is conducted in three stages and they are – the Preliminary exam, the Mains exam, and the personal interview/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 the Prelims exam consists of Indian geography and World geography.

The National Waterways in India is an important topic for candidates preparing for the upcoming IAS Exam. Aspirants can go through this article and get the list of operational waterways in India and Inland Waterways Authority of India.

Start your IAS Exam preparation now with the UPSC Previous Year Question Papers!! Also, refer to the links given below and ace the upcoming Civil Services Examination:

National Waterways

Transportation plays an important role in the development of a country and 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. India has about 14500 km of navigable waterways. This includes rivers, backwaters, canals, creeks, and so on.

  • National Waterways Act came into effect in 2016. It proposed 106 additional National Waterways and merges 5 existing Acts which were declared the 5 National Waterways. As a result, 106 new waterways were identified by IWAI and intimated to MoS. In this regard, the National Waterways Act, 2016 was published in the Gazette of India, Extraordinary, Part II, Section I dated 26th March, 2016 as an Act No. 17 of 2016
  • In 1986, the Government of India created the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) for regulation and development of Inland Waterways for navigation and shipping.
  • Out of the 111, National Waterways declared under the National Waterways Act, 2016, 13 are operational for shipping and navigation and cargo/passenger vessels are moving on them.

National Waterways in India (UPSC Notes):- Download PDF Here

About the IWAI

Inland Waterways Authority of India

This body was created by the government of India in 1986 for regulating and developing inland waterways for shipping and navigation. The body chiefly undertakes development and maintenance projects of IWT infrastructure on national waterways. It undertakes these projects through grants from the Shipping Ministry. Its headquarters is in Noida. It also has regional offices in various other cities and towns across the country.

Operational National Waterways in India for UPSC

Sl. No. NW Number River System Route Length (in km) Locations Established
1 NW – 1 Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hooghly Prayagraj – Haldia 1620 Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal 1986
2 NW – 2 Brahmaputra Sadiya-Dhubri 891 Assam 1988
3 NW – 3 West Coast Canal, Champakara Canal, and Udyogamandal Canal Kottapuram – Kollam 205 Kerala 1993
4 NW – 4 Krishna and Godavari Kakinada–Puducherry stretch of canals, Kaluvelly Tank, Bhadrachalam – Rajahmundry, Waziraba–Vijayawada 1095 Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Puducherry 2008
5 NW – 10 Amba River 45 Maharashtra
6 NW – 83 Rajpuri Creek 31 Maharashtra
7 NW – 85 Revadanda Creek – Kundalika River System 31 Maharashtra
8 NW – 91 Shastri river–Jaigad creek system 52 Maharashtra
9 NW – 68 Mandovi – Usgaon Bridge to the Arabian Sea 41 Goa
10 NW – 111 Zuari– Sanvordem Bridge to Marmugao Port 50 Goa
11 NW – 73 Narmada River 226 Gujarat and Maharashtra
12 NW – 100 Tapi River 436 Gujarat and Maharashtra
13 NW – 97 (Sundarbans Waterways) Namkhana to AtharaBankiKhal Indo-Bangladesh Protocol Route 172 West Bengal

List of New Waterways in India

India has an extensive network of inland waterways in the form of rivers, canals, backwaters and creeks. The State-wise list of new National Waterways are as under:-

State No.of rivers/canal Name of the River / Canal
Andhra Pradesh 2 Pennar and Tungabhadra
Arunachal Pradesh 1 Lohit
Assam 14 Aai, Barak, Beki, Dhansiri / Chathe, Dehing, Dikhu, Doyans, Gangadhar, Jinjiram, Kopili, Lohit, Puthimari, Subansiri and Tlwang (Dhaleswari)
Bihar 6 Gandak, Ghaghra, Karamnasa, Kosi, Punpun and Sone
Delhi 1 Yamuna
Goa 6 Chapora, Cumberjua, Mandovi, Mapusa, Sal and Zuari
Gujarat 5 Jawai-Luni – Rann of Kutch, Mahi, Narmada, Sabarmati and Tapi
Haryana 2 Indira Gandhi Canal and Yamuna
Himachal Pradesh 3 Beas, Ravi and Sutlej
Jammu & Kashmir 4 Chenab, Indus, Jhelum and Ravi
Jharkhand 2 Kherkai and Subarnarekha
Karnataka 11 Bheema, Ghataprabha, Gurupur, Kabini, Kali, Malaprabha, Netravathi, Panchagangavali (Panchagangoli), Sharavati, Tungabhadra and Udayavara
Kerala 4 AVM Canal, Alappuzha- Changanassery Canal, Alappuzha- Kottayam – Athirampuzha Canal and Kottayam-Vaikom Canal
    Amba, Arunawati – Aran, Dabhol Creek – Vashishti River, Kalyan-Thane-Mumbai Waterway – Vasai Creek – Ulhas River, Manjara, Nag, Narmada, Penganga – Wardha, Rajpuri Creek, Revadanda Creek – Kundalika River, Savitri (Bankot Creek), Shastri River – Jaigad Creek, Tapi and Wainganga – Pranahita
Maharashtra 14
Meghalaya 5 Ganol, Jinjiram, Kynshi, Simsang and Umngot (Dawki)
Mizoram 1 Tlwang (Dhaleswari)
Nagaland 1 Tizu – Zungki
Odisha 5 Baitarni, Birupa – Badi Genguti – Brahmani, Budha Balanga, Mahanadi and Subarnarekha
Punjab 3 Beas, Indira Gandhi Canal and Sutlej
Rajasthan 3 Indira Gandhi Canal, Jawai-Luni – Rann of Kutch and Luni
Tamil Nadu 9 AVM Canal, Bhavani, Kaveri – Kollidam, Manimutharu, Palar, Pazhyar, Ponniyar, Tamaraparani and Vaigai
Telangana 5 Bheema, Manjara, Penganga – Wardha, Tungabhadra and Wainganga – Pranahita
Uttar Pradesh 10 Asi, Betwa, Chambal, Gandak, Ghaghra, Gomti, Karamnasa, Tons, Varuna and Yamuna

National Waterways in India (UPSC Notes):- Download PDF Here

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Frequently Asked Questions on National Waterways in India

Q 1. What do you mean by National Waterways?

Ans. National Waterways are an important mode of transport for both passengers and cargo. In India, the National Waterways include Inland waterways and sea routes for trade purposes.

Q 2. Which is the longest waterways in India?

Ans. The Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hooghly is the longest waterways in India stretched for 1620 km.

Q 3. How many types of waterways are there in India?

Ans. There are mainly two types of waterways in India:

  • Inland waterways – which includes rives, lakes, canals, etc.
  • Sea or Shipping Routes which are mostly used for trade

Q 4. What is IWAI?

Ans. Inland Waterways Authority of India or IWAI is a statutory body which is responsible for the waterways in India.

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