Promoting Navigational Usage of Inland Waterways in Ganga and Brahmaputra Basins

Community outreach programme under Jal Marg Vikas project on National Waterway – 1

About the Study:

The Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP) aims to augment the navigation capacity of National Waterway 1 (NW1) to facilitate smooth movement of cargo and passengers between Varanasi and Haldia, thereby, saving fuel costs involved in other modes of transport and reducing carbon footprint. A number of infrastructures viz. Ports, Roll On Roll Off (RO-RO), LNG Bunkers etc. are being set up in select locations between Varanasi and Haldia. To this end, The Inland Waterways Authority of India organised a series of stakeholder (including local communities, Government Officials, People’s Representatives, Civil Society Organisations (CSO), Media and all other stakeholder groups whose lives and livelihoods are directly related to NW1) consultations.

CUTS International worked as an extended arm of the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), Ministry of Shipping, Government of India and helped in successfully organising the meetings.

Goals and Objectives:

The principle objectives of these meetings were to:

  • Disseminate information about the projects under implementation by IWAI, and eliminate misinformation that might work against the project being accepted by the community;
  • Allow the community to voice their issues, if any, with the project, and take such valid complaints into account when moving forward;
  • Provide information about IWAI programmes that have been planned to minimise impact upon the local population; and
  • Collect field insights and identify areas where further studies will be required

Project Area:

Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, West Bengal


July to August 2018


Each meeting was assisted by community members comprising people from different livelihood backgrounds, such as farmers, fishermen, boat operators, handicraft artisans, fruits and vegetable vendors. CUTS International rendered special attention to ensure the participation of local village level politicians and decision makers. Several women self-help groups and women along with their children also participated to learn more about the project and raise their concerns. Each dialogue meeting started with a short and general introduction of the JMVP project, construction of different infrastructures in the respective area and their implications for local people.

This was followed by an open discussion where community people including local leaders raised their concerns and expectations; their experiences with related projects in the past; and the current project and additional requirements that can be incorporated in the project. These concerns and expectations were duly addressed by the IWAI officials. As and when needed, CUTS International facilitated and participated in these interactions.