After Farakka plant, NTPC's Barh project in Bihar to get coal through waterways
Enthused by the success of coal shipment to its Farakka power project in West Bengal through waterways, power major NTPC will get the dry-fuel transported to its Barh project in Bihar through the same mode. "The government has laid a lot of emphasis on inland waterways transportation... Imported coal is supplied to NTPC Farakka plant through the Indian waterways. At least 3 million tonnes per year go through waterways to Farakka plant. It has been successfully implemented," Shipping Secretary Vishwapati Trivedi said. "Coal to NTPC's another plant in Barh would now be going through waterways," he added.
Trivedi said it is a Rs 700 crore project which was implemented successfully after NTPC committed to the Shipping Ministry of picking up 3 MT of imported coal annually for the next seven years. He said that after the power major came up with a fixed demand, a tender was floated and the lowest bidder to transport coal was selected. The Secretary said large corporates and PSUs need to come forward for shipment of goods through inland waterways which is cheaper and environment-friendly. "Large operators must give a demand for long term cargo transport through waterways," he said.
Trivedi said his ministry was trying to attract major PSUs and corporates to transport goods through waterways as the country has about 14,000 km of inland waterways. He said in the past some months the Ministry of Shipping has mounted a very aggressive policy to promote waterways. The objective behind promoting waterways mode of transpiration is to decongest roads and reduce the overall transport cost. The final phase of the Farakka plant was commissioned in March 2011. The project supplies electricity to West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, Sikkim, Assam and Tripura. State-owned NTPC, the country's largest power producer, has an installed generation capacity of 43,108 MW, of which 37,049 MW is coal-based. On account of capacity constraints of railways, NTPC's power plants regularly face shortages of coal.