- The Government proposes to launch a River Information System (RIS) on lines of Air Traffic Control.
- RIS is a combination of tracking and meteorological equipment with specialized software designed to optimize traffic and transport processes in inland navigation.
- The system enables swift electronic data transfer between mobile vessels and shore (base stations) through advance and real-time exchange of information so as to ensure navigation safety in inland waterways.
- It also provides virtual navigational aids to guide the vessel during navigation.
- It will help in crisis management and enhanced inland navigation safety by preventing ship-to-ship collisions, ship-bridge collisions, groundings etc.
- All the vessels plying on National Waterways (NWs) need to be made compatible for using RIS.
- As RIS ensures safety of vessels in navigation, as per the Inland Vessel Act, it will be the responsibility of the states to direct all the vessels to be equipped with RIS compatible equipment.
Inland Waterways Authority of India
- Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) was constituted in October 1986, for the development and regulation of inland waterways for shipping and navigation.
- The Authority undertakes various infrastructure development works on national waterways. It also carries out feasibility studies and prepares proposals for declaration of other waterways as National Waterways.
- It also assists States in development of IWT sector and provides subsidy to IWT operators for acquiring IWT fleet for transportation of cargo and passengers.
As per constitutional provisions, only those waterways which are declared as National Waterways come under the purview of Central Government while rest of waterways remain in the purview of respective State Government.Since formation of IWAI, five waterways namely:
- West Coast Canal with Udyogamandal and Champakara Canals
- Kakinada-Puducherry Canals system along with Godavari and Krishna rivers
- East Coast Canal with Brahmani river and Mahanadi delta have been declared as National Waterways.
- One more waterway namely Barak river is under consideration of the Central Government for declaration as a National Waterways.