The Union Ministry of Shipping is mulling to develop Inland Water Transport (IWT) system along the Brahmani-Kharasua river in PPP mode in Orissa.
The proposed IWT system is likely to cost Rs 4,209 crore. The proposed waterway passes through major towns such as Talcher, Paradip, Dhamra in the river section, and Bhadrak, Baleshwar, Jaleswar and Haldia in the canal section. It is likely to be used to transport coal to Paradip and Dhamra ports, for onward transportation to places such as Ennore and Tuticorin by large ships. Presently, coal is transported by rail to Paradip from Talcher.
As per the DPR, developing the river portion the cost is estimated at Rs 2,230 crore (building barrages – dams or irrigation channels – alone will cost Rs 1,843 crore), the canal portion is expected to cost another Rs 1,979 crore (dredging will cost Rs 1,273 crore). On completion, around 11 million tonne of cargo can be transported per annum which can go up to 23 million tonne in the next 15 years.
Out of the total length of 588 km, the river portion is 371 km and the canal, 217 km.
To maintain a depth of two mtrs in the Brahmani river all through the year, five barrages with height equal to the highest flood level are proposed to be constructed at every 26 km between Talcher and Jokadia. Each barrage is likely to have a navigational lock to allow passage of two 500-tonne vessels at a time.