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Indian Geography / Transportation in India

Sea and Inland Waterway Transport in India

Sea and inland waterway transport plays a crucial role in India's international as well as domestic trade. India's international trade of about 90% in volume terms and about 77% in value terms is done through the seas. India has a coastline length of 7,516.6 km (Mainland coastline of 5422.6 km and Island coastline of 2094 km).

Maritime Transportation in India

  • The most important sea routes of India are The Suez Canal Route, The Singapore Route, The Cape of Good Hope Route and the Australian or Far Eastern Route.

  • India has 13 major ports and 200 medium and ports. The major ports are Kolkata Port, Paradip Port, Visakhapatnam Port, Chennai Port, Ennore Port, Port Blair Port, Tuticorin Port, Kochi Port, New Mangaluru Port, Mormugao Port, Mumbai Port, Jawaharlal Nehru Port (Mumbai) and Kandla Port.

  • Some Facts about Indian Ports

    • Most modern and largest port is Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (Mumbai) which is also called Nhava Sheva Port.

    • Kandla Port, which is a tidal port located at the mouth of Kandla Creek, handles the highest cargo by volume. It was developed after Indian Independence, due to loss of the Karachi port to Pakistan.

    • Kochi Port is located at the mouth of Vembanad Lake.

    • Marmagao Port is at the mouth of river Zuari.

    • Kolkata Port is a riverine port at the banks of river Hooghly. Nowadays, Haldia Port is mainly handling the traffic and Kolkata Port became a truncated port.

    • Sassoon is the fishing harbor located near Mumbai port.

    • New Mangaluru port is located close to Gurupura river.

    • Visakhapatnam port is a deep water port and is formed due to Yarada Ranges (or) Dolphin Nose Hills.

    • Ennore port is developed close to Chennai to relieve burden on Chennai port.

Inland Waterways

  • Though there are many big rivers, lakes and canals in India, the inland water transport is very less when compared to sea transport.

    The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) is in charge for developing, maintaining and managing the national waterways.

  • India has 111 officially notified Inland National Waterways that are recognized for the purpose of inland water transport. 106 Waterways were created only in 2016.

  • The following are the first three operational National Waterways (NW) in India

    • NW1, Prayagraj to Haldia on river Ganga and its tributary rivers.

    • NW2, Sadiya to Dhubri on River Brahmaputra in Assam.

    • NW3, Kollam to Kottapuram stretch on West coast canal along with Udyogmandal and Champakara canals in Kerala

  • National Institute of Watersports is located at Panaji, Goa.