KMEW’s Inland Waterway Maiden Voyage: Embarking on New Waters

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], March 12: Knowledge Marine & Engineering Works Ltd has received the Letter of Award (LoA) from the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) for the maintenance of the “Farakka-Kahalgaon stretch (146 Km) of National Waterway – 1 (River Ganga)”. The contract, valued at Rs. 98.06 Crores. The contract duration is 3 years and further extendable by 2 more years.

To promote Inland Water Transport (IWT) in the country, 111 Inland National Waterways (NWs) have been officially notified in India for the purposes of inland water transport as per The National Waterways Act, 2016. Out of the 111 NWs, 106 were created in 2016. The NW network covers around 20,275.5 km. NW-1, 2, & 3 are already operational. Cargo as well as passenger / cruise vessels are plying on these waterways.

India has about 20,275.5 kms of navigable waterways which comprise of rivers, canals, backwaters, creeks, etc. About 126 Million Metric Tonnes (MMT) of cargo is being moved annually by Inland Water Transport (IWT), a fuel – efficient and environment – friendly mode. Its operations are currently restricted to a few stretches in the Ganga-BhagirathiHooghly rivers, the Brahmaputra, the Barak River, the rivers in Goa, the backwaters in Kerala, inland waters in Mumbai and the deltaic regions of the Godavari – Krishna rivers. Besides these organized operations by mechanized vessels, country boats of various capacities also operate in various rivers and canals. and substantial quantum of cargo and passengers are transported in this unorganized sector as well.

Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), set up under the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Govt. of India, is entrusted with development, maintenance and management of National Waterways for shipping and navigation.

IWAI has invited several bids for different stretches of National Waterways 1 (known as Jal Marg Vikas Projects) in the past one year. KMEW is regularly participating in these bids and successfully won the first stretch of 146 KM award by competing against Adani Ports and Dharti Dredging.  

Two Nos. of Cutter Suction Dredgers will be mobilized by KMEW for the said project. KMEW was operating trailers, backhoe and grab dredgers till now. Company is very excited to enter into Cutter suction dredger market and is very hopeful to execute the work on time.

Commenting on the Letter of Award (LoA), Mr. Sujay Kewalramani, CEO of Knowledge Marine & Engineering Works Ltd said that, “We are thrilled to announce a major breakthrough as we secure our first contract with the Inland Waterways Authority of India, underscoring our unwavering commitment to this sector wherein we will be deploying our first Cutter Suction Dredger. We have secured the work of 146 kms out of the total focus of Government of India approx. 20,000 kms plus river length. The potential is immense and we intended to further our efforts towards securing more business with IWAI in the coming year. This achievement marks a pivotal moment in our journey, emphasizing our dedicated focus on the Inland Waterways project. This adds a new revenue stream to our dredging business. With a strong emphasis on execution, we are poised to capitalize on further opportunities within this segment. Additionally, we are gratified that these projects are World Bank funded, as our successful qualification underscores our readiness for future contract endeavors. We have become part of the select few companies that are qualified to participate in River Dredging Works.”

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