GS Paper - 2 (Polity)

The National Green Tribunal has cleared the decks for the inland waterway project on the stretch of the Ganga river between Prayagraj and Haldia which is also known as the National Waterway 1. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said there is no scope for this tribunal to consider the matter as far as this project is concerned as the Allahabad High Court has already decided the issue.

What

  1. The Inland Waterways Authority told the tribunal that the High Court, in its 28 April 2016, order, allowed the project subject to receipt of all required statutory clearances.
  2. The High Court has expressly referred to the issue of environmental clearance and allowed the project proponents to proceed with the project and get an environmental impact assessment conducted after commissioning of the project.
  3. The NGT, however, said it would be open to an aggrieved party to take remedy against any violation of environmental norms in executing the project, in accordance with the law.
  4. The Jal Marg Vikas Project is being implemented on the Prayagraj-Haldia stretch of National Waterway-1 with the technical assistance and investment support of the World Bank at an estimated cost of Rs 5,369.18 crore on a 50:50 sharing basis between the Government of India and the World Bank.
  5. The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by Bharat Jhunjhunwala and others on whether environmental impact assessment is necessary for navigation infrastructure on the Ganga river in the stretch from Varanasi to Haldia undertaken by the Inland Waterways Authority of India.

Flashback

  1. The National Waterway 1 (NW-1) or Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hooghly river system is located in India and runs from Prayagraj in Uttar Pradesh to Haldia in West Bengal via Patna and Bhagalpur in Bihar across the Ganges river.
  2. It is 1,620 km (1,010 mi) long, making it the longest waterway in India. It is of prime importance amongst all the national waterways considering its locational advantages.
  3. The NW-1 passes through West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh and serves major cities.
  4. It was declared as a waterway in October 1986. It is navigable by mechanical boat up to Patna.