Low draft vessels being studied for carrying cargo

On board MV Paramhamsa (West Bengal): The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) is exploring possibilities of low draft vessels that could carry 2,000 MT of load in waterways as shallow as 2.5 metres, an official said. "We are exploring low draft vessels which can carry more load in shallow depth such as in 2.5 metre depth. If they can carry 2,000 MT or 2,000 MT of load then it will be economical," IWAI assistant director Arvind Kumar said. "A study is going on," Kumar said. He was speaking at an expert-media roundtable on pollution in the lower Ganga organised by The ThirdPole, on board the vessel. Kumar said the River Information System (RIS) navigation aid, which has been established in seven locations so far in the Farakka-Haldia stretch, will be extended to eight or nine sites in the Farakka-Patna sector. "RIS will be available next in the Farakka-Patna sector within a year and half in eight or nine locations," he said. The RIS was launched in January 2016. The new system facilitates safe and accurate navigation on waterways.