Kolkata, March 17 (IANS) The formal construction of a multi-modal terminal at Haldia in West Bengal is expected to commence next week with Union Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari likely to be present at the foundation stone laying ceremony, an official said on Saturday."Some works before commencing of the construction have already been started. The minister is expected to lay foundation stone for the multi-modal terminal at Haldia along with the new navigational lock gate and River Information System (RIS) at Farraka," said a senior official of the Inland Waterways Authority of India.Gadkari is also likely to flag-off the RoRo service between Kolkata and Howrah on National Waterway 1 (NW-1), he said.The authority's Vice Chairman Pravir Pandey said the terminal and NW-1 is scheduled to be ready by end of 2019 and the modern RIS would be equivalent to Air Traffic Control to monitor the waterway on a real time basis.The IWAI is developing the NW-1 from Varanasi to Haldia under the Jal Marg Vikas Project, with assistance from the World Bank. The estimated project cost has been revised upward to Rs 5,369 crore from the initial estimation of Rs 4,200 crore.Shipping Secretary Gopal Krishna on Saturday flagged off a new high power twin-propeller tug-barge flotilla for use in the National Waterways-1 to augment the navigation capacity of the country's waterways.The barge has been procured at a cost of Rs 16.24 crore and will help in transporting fly-ash to Bangladesh.--IANSbdc/nks/bg
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