Bangladeshi port operator commits USD 8mn in IWAI NW-1

Kolkata, Oct 30 (PTI) A Bangladeshi private port operator has committed USD 8 million foreign direct investment for the coastal inland waterways transport segment implemented by Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) on National Waterways-I, officials said Tuesday.

Summit Alliance Port East Gateway (India) Pvt Ltd (SAPEL), part of a Bangladesh-based group, has won global contract as a private operator for three terminals GR-1, GR-II and BISN in Kolkata and an upcoming multi-modal terminal at Kalughat in Patna.

"In the first phase, we will invest USD 3 million and USD 5 million in the second phase to import cargo handling equipment," a SAPEL official said.

The terminals were handed over to the operator during an event held Tuesday in presence of Shipping secretary Gopal Krishna, IWAI chairman Pravir Pandey, Kolkata Port Trust chairman Vineet Kumar and other senior officials.

Krishna said following the move, the cargo movement between Bangladesh and India would get a boost.

SAPEL will be operating on a supply, operate and maintain model with concession for 30 years. Its revenue sharing will be 38.30 per cent with IWAI.

A trial of 16 containers of cargo belonging to PepsiCo (India) from Kolkata to Varanasi on river Ganga (National Waterway-1) was flagged of at the same event.

The development of both Kolkata and Patna terminals is being undertaken with a view to tap the huge potential of Nepal-bound containerised cargo on NW-1.

While the available cargo upstream (for Nepal) at present is 44,000 TEU )twenty-foot equivalent unit), the cargo potential downstream stands at 12,000 TEU, officials said.

Ro-Ro service was also flagged off that aims to reduce truck movement in the metropolis between Kolkata and Howrah. PTI BSM JM JM 10301947 NNNN.

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