The Central government, which plans to connect 103 rivers under national waterways to give boost to the inland water transportation, has secured a funding booster worth Rs. 4,000cr from the World Bank, shipping, roads and surface transport minister said adding that the ministry has already taken a decision to connect rivers as national waterways and the project is currently in the process of securing cabinet's clearance. Initially the government has decided to start work for developing the National Waterways (NW) -1 between Haldia and Allahabad and eleven water terminals would be installed between Haldia and Varanasi as the move will save goods transportation costs to a great extent. Of the total navigable length of 14,500 kms, 5,200 kms of river and 4,000 kms of canals can be used for the inland water transportation. Cargo transportation through inland waterways was only confined to a few waterways in Goa, West Bengal, Assam and Kerala, but the Centre was keen to exploit the available potentials to the hilt, he added.
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