Current Affairs – 06 January 2021

World Bank approves $105 million loans to improve Waterways in West Bengal

The World Bank has signed a $ 105 million project with the Government of India and the Government of West Bengal to improve river transport infrastructure in Kolkata, West Bengal. The loans of 105 million dollars from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) have a maturity of 17 years, including a grace period of 7 years.

The West Bengal River Transport, Logistics and Space Development Project will improve the movement of passengers and goods on the Hooghly River, improve accessibility in the Kolkata metropolitan area, improve the quality of life for its residents and help the growth of state logistics. sector. The project will cover the five most populous districts of South West Bengal, including its metropolitan area – the Kolkata Metropolitan Area (KMA) where around 30 million people live, or one-third of the population of West Bengal.

About the project:

  • In the first phase, the project will strengthen the capacity and improve the safety of the river transport system; including rehabilitation of existing jetties, purchase of new ferries with improved design; and the installation of electronic doors in 40 locations.
  • In the second phase, it will support long-term investments for passenger movements, including in terminals and jetties; improve the design of river transport vessels; ensure night navigation on the most dangerous and busiest roads and crossing points, and encourage the private sector to invest in ro-ro vessels which will allow easier movement of trucks on the Hooghly River.
  • In addition, the project will facilitate accommodations adapted for people with disabilities, ensure the safety of women and promote the employment of women in the Department of Inland Navigation as well as with ferry operators.

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