New Delhi, July 19 (IANS) The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) kicked off a massive month-long public outreach initiative along river Ganga on the National Waterway-1 to create awareness and help push rural economy to connect with waterways, the government said on Thursday.
As part of a month long dialogue series extending from Varanasi to Haldia, a team of IWAI held two-day long outreach program with villagers on Tuesday and Wednesday.
During the program, the officials disseminated information on the Rs 5,369 crore Jal Marg Vikas Project on the river.
The participants in the two-day community outreach program included farmers, traders and other community members from Zamania, Kataria, Puraina, Sarai Mohammadpur, Chochakpur, Jallapur, Dungerpur in Ghazipur district of Uttar Pradesh.
This eastern Uttar Pradesh pocket along the Ganga has rich agricultural produce that include green chillies, tomato, brinjal, onions, cauliflowers, banana and papaya.
"But due to the non-existence of a good supply chain, and owing to lack of connectivity and storage infrastructure, the produce reaches local 'mandis' (markets) and other city markets with difficulty and goods often perish," an official statement said.
"IWAI is making a Rs 155 Crore inter-modal terminal at Ghazipur under the Jal Marg Vikas project, which will provide direct and seamless access to this area's markets to the Bay of Bengal through National Waterway-1," it said.
It added that the Rs 5,369 crore project is going to create more than 1.5 lakh direct and indirect employment opportunities in the four states it traverses and the dialogue process has been initiated to bring the beneficiaries to the fold of inclusive development.
The IWAI is also working with state livelihood missions for imparting necessary skill training for the youth, boatmen and other community members so that they could benefit from the employment opportunities, the government said.