The government on Monday informed parliament that it plans to transport passenger cars from Varanasi to Kolkata by using inland waterways.According to Minister of State for Shipping Pon. Radhakrishnan, plans are afoot to start a "Roll-on and Roll-off" (Ro-Ro) service to transport cars between Varanasi and Kolkata stretch of the Ganga river. "For this a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) and Maruti Suzuki for transportation of cars through inland vessels," the minister informed parliament.
"IWAI has deployed one vessel at Varanasi for this purpose. The IWAI has planned transportation of cars from Varanasi to Kolkata on National Waterway-1," Radhakrishnan said in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha during question hour.The minister said that "Jal Marg Vikas" project has been commissioned with technical and financial assistance of the World Bank for capacity augmentation of National Waterway-1 from Haldia to Allahabad, stretching over 1,620 km. "The project aims at developing the fairway to enable safe navigation of at least 1,500 ton vessels. The project would be completed over a period of six years at an estimated cost of Rs 4,200 crore," the minister added.