The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the transfer of 14.86 hectares of land from Farakka Barrage Project under the Ministry of Water Resources to Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) under the Ministry of Shipping for construction of a new navigational lock parallel to the existing navigational lock at Farakka.
The cost of the land is estimated at Rs 2.35 crore and will be borne by IWAI. “Construction of the navigational lock is a subproject of Jal Marg Vikas Project. The new lock will ensure smooth and seamless movement of vessels on NW-1,” it added.
“The works shall be planned/ executed in such a manner that the existing arrangements about sharing of Ganga water at Farakka, as per Ganga Water Treaty-1996 between India and Bangladesh, are not affected,” the government said.
With the existing lock unable to efficiently handle the number of vessels passing through it, considerable time is taken for vessels to pass the lock. Therefore, a need was felt for construction of an additional lock to facilitate easy passage of vessels. Also considered was the anticipated increase in number of vessels and volume of cargo once the Jal Marg Vikas Project is implemented.