Standardisation would allow companies to build and supply ships within the specifications. Earlier, there was no such framework that governed the plying of vessels in domestic waterbodies.
Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), a central government entity, would also procure some vessels via the tender route, based on the designs.
After its experience in tendering for road highway contracts on the EPC (engineering, procurement, construction) mode, the central government intends to do so for waterways, too. Larsen & Toubro, Adani and Afcons are among the companies which have shown interest in bidding for these contracts — establishing of cargo terminals, jetties, dredging, etc. Typically, IWAI would give out a 100-150 km stretch in each such contract.
IWAI is the implementing agency for the Jal Marg Vikas Project, a scheme approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs this January. It involves capacity augmentation for navigation on National Waterway-1 (Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hooghly) at a cost of nearly Rs 53.7 billion, with World Bank support.