We earlier reported you that Maruti Suzuki is all set to become the first automaker in India to trasport cars via inland waterways in the country. Now, it is being learnt that the first vessel, carrying 24 Maruti cars, has reached Garden Reach jetty II of Inland Water Transport Authority (IWTA) in Kolkata on Friday from Varanasi. The vessel was flagged off by Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister of Road Transport, Highways and Shipping on August 12, and it apparently took 6 days from Varanasi to reach Kolkata.
"It is purely an experimental shipment of a Maruti consignment. But at the end of the 1210-km-long trip, the collective impact was very positive. Maruti does not even need to take the cars to its own warehouse but straight to dealers. We are allowing transporters to use IWTA warehouses and keep their consignment for seven days at free of cost," said IWTA additional director Arvind Kumar. So, the successful outing started an all-new era in the history of inland waterways of India. It is believed that it would not only lower down the transportation cost but would also take off the pressure from roads and decongest the traffic. Just so you know, India has one the best riverline networks in the world, but sadly it is not explored largely.
"It is such a hassle-free trip that more and more business groups are approaching us for transporting their consignments through national waterway-1. The draft has been no issue. For trial run, we brought only 24 cars. But this same vessel can easily carry 200 cars. More we carry, cheaper will be transportation cost. Now, Hyundai have also approched us for their shipment," said Captain Solanki of IWTA. The route on the river Ganges from Allahabad to Haldia, named as National Waterway 1 (NW1) has seen sudden spurt of cargo movement, particularly coal, fly ash and cement. Shortly, Hyundai Cars would also be transported within the country via waterways. Maruti would save around Rs. 4,000 on each car transported via waterways as compared to the road transport.
Source: ET Auto