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Second phase of RIS between Farakka and Patna to be inaugurated by Nitin Gadkari

Second phase of RIS between Farakka and Patna to be inaugurated by Nitin Gadkari
The projects are aimed at boosting the movement of cargo and fishery development in river Ganga. Image Credit: Flickr

To boost cargo movement on Ganga, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari Friday will inaugurate the second phase of river information system (RIS) between Farakka and Patna. The minister will also unveil the new navigation lock at Farakka to enable breeding of Hilsa fish, government said Thursday.

The projects are aimed at boosting the movement of cargo and fishery development in river Ganga. The Minister will also visit a Namami Gange Exhibition at Kumbh Mela. "Gadkari will be in Prayagraj tomorrow (Friday) to inaugurate Phase 2 of the RIS on National Waterway-1 (River Ganga) between Farakka and Patna (410 km) and also unveil new arrangement of Navigation Lock at Farakka that would enable breeding of Hilsa fish in River Ganga and help preserve the river ecosystem," Ministry of Shipping said in a statement.

It said the inauguration of 2nd phase of RIS will enhance swift electronic data transfer between mobile vessels and base stations on shore through advance and real-time exchange of information. RIS is a form of vessel traffic management using next generation technology. It will help in crisis management and enhanced inland navigation safety by preventing ship-to-ship collisions, ship-bridge collisions, groundings etc. The services are being used in advanced waterways of Europe, China and the USA. "The operationalization of this system in India is a landmark in itself," the statement said.

Under phase II, five base stations – Manihari, Bhagalpur, Munger, Barh and Hatidah and one control station have been made at Patna, it said. IWAI is implementing the project in three phases on NW-1 at a cost of about Rs 57 crore. Earlier, in 2016, the first phase of RIS - 545 km on Haldia- Farakka stretch was commissioned. Work on third, 356 kms Patna-Varanasi stretch is currently in progress.

About the hilsa passage through Farakka Navigation Lock, the statement said the operations at the Navigation Lock in Farakka will be synchronised to suit the requirements of Hilsa fish movement. Under Jal Marg Vikas Pariyojana, a fish pass has been envisaged for the free movement of Hilsa at Farakka Navigation Lock.

After the construction of Farakka Navigation Lock in 1976, movement of Hilsa, which once reached up to Prayagraj also, was restricted up to Farakka only. "Based on research and breeding season of Hilsa Fish, the operation of navigational lock will be regulated to facilitate Hilsa movement from Hoogly-Bhagirathi-River system to the upstream in river Ganga and vice-versa," the statement said.

Fish pass/Fish way is a structure on or around artificial and natural barriers (such as dams, locks and waterfalls) to facilitate natural fish migration. Most fishways enable fish to pass around the barriers by swimming into the waters on the other side, it added. Under the Jal Marg Vikas Project a new state of the art navigational Lock on NW-1 is being constructed at Farakka at a cost of Rs 361.35 crore and work will be complete by June 2019.

(With inputs from agencies.)

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