Inland waterways is an important mode of transport for any economy. Inland water transport contribute just 1% of the total freight and as the data suggest it is underutilised as in other countries the proportion of freight is relatively high.
There are challenges in the development of Inland waterways in India and they are as follows:
- Difficulty in arriving at the cost of the project, this problem gets aggravated by the lack of data available.
- Getting environmental clearance is a daunting task.
- The depth of river has to be good enough for seamless flow of traffic. The seasonal rivers does not provide such facility.
- Low height of the bridges made over the rivers are not able to provide enough vertical clearance.
- The maintenance, repair and overhaul industry is not available in India and lack of voluminous water transport vehicle in India is also a problem
- The perquisite industrial development along the banks of river is also a problematic issue which need to be addressed.