Varanasi/Lucknow : Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath stated on Friday, that the increased water transportation along the Ganga would boost both farmers’ income and also create employment opportunities for youths. Additionally, One District One Product will gain substantial international market share.
In a function organized by the Inland Waterways Authority of India at Ravidas Ghat in Varanasi, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath along with Union Ports, Shipping and Waterways Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, launched seven community jetties and laid the foundation stone for another eight jetties in Uttar Pradesh.
The CM also released the timetable of Antara cruise between Varanasi and Dibrugarh from January 2023. Apart from this, MoU was exchanged for hydrogen and electric catamaran.
This includes three community jetties in Varanasi, one in Chandauli, one in Ghazipur and one in Ballia. The jetties which were inaugurated by the Chief Minister will ply from Ravidas Ghat, Ramnagar and Kaithi in Varanasi, Balua in Chandauli, Collector Ghat in Ghazipur, Ujiyar Ghat Barauli and Shivpur in Ballia. It is noteworthy that a total of 60 jetties are to be built between Varanasi and Kolkata.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister said that two years ago, PM Modi had gifted Kashi the Inland Waterway. “Through jetties in four districts, water transportation will now be convenient. This will assist in bringing the Prime Minister’s goal of a ‘self-reliant’ India to fruition.”
The CM further said: “With the inauguration of seven jetties at Varanasi, Chandauli, Ghazipur and Ballia and eight more jetties coming up, tourism in the entire Purvanchal, Prayagraj, Sonbhadra and Mirzapur including Kashi will get a boost in the coming times.
“Additionally, it will contribute to easing traffic. Using water transportation will lessen the load on trains and traffic on roads and will also help in reducing pollution,” said Yogi.
UP has long been concerned that we are ‘landlocked’ (entirely surrounded by land), said the Chief Minister, adding, “By the time our products reach the ports, its cost would have been high. Because of this, our products were unable to compete in the global market. There were numerous issues with the export of sugar, fruits, vegetables, chillies, and other goods from UP.”
Stating that more than 90 lakh micro, small, and medium-sized businesses operate in Uttar Pradesh now, the CM said, “But we used to have trouble getting their goods out to the rest of the world because it took so long and was so expensive to get to the ports.”
The Chief Minister continued by stating that the Prime Minister opened the first route for water transportation from Varanasi to Haldia two years ago. “As a result, we exported ODOP goods worth Rs 3700 crore from Varanasi alone in 2021–2022. Farmers, craftsmen, and artisans connected to ODOP in Bhadohi, Mirzapur, Sonbhadra, Ghazipur, Chandauli, and Prayagraj, as well as Varanasi, benefited greatly from this. Not only did their profits increase, but new employment opportunities were also created.”
Maintaining that there are endless possibilities in the field of inland water transport, Yogi said, “Today, due to the rejuvenation and beautification of Kashi Vishwanath Dham, there has been an unanticipated surge in the number of tourists in Varanasi. In addition to the fact that one million tourists visited Varanasi during the month of ‘Shravan,’ hotels, taxis, and restaurants in Varanasi also profited during the ‘Dev Deepawali’.”
Yogi remarked: “The commencement of the inland waterway will ease traffic situation for tourists arriving in Varanasi as well as Vindhyavasini Dham, Prayagraj, Sonbhadra, Chandauli, and Mirzapur. Today Uttar Pradesh is weaving a web of four lane, six lane roads along with 12 express highways.”
Uttar Pradesh has the best fertile land and water resources in the nation. Inland waterways will further boost the production of farmers thereby increasing their income. The state government is prepared to offer full cooperation for the expansion of the waterways facility, as is the Central government. The youth will be able to explore numerous employment opportunities because of this, he said.
On this occasion, Ministers of State Shripad Nayak and Shantanu Thakur, UP Cabinet Ministers Surya Pratap Shahi, Anil Rajbhar, Minister of State for Transport, Independent Charge Dayashankar Singh, Minister of State Dayashankar Mishra ‘Dayalu’, Ravindra Jaiswal and other dignitaries were present.