Enumerate the problems and prospects of inland water transport in India.

Water transport in India has a significant role in trading operations and boosting the country’s economy. One of the formats of water transport is Inland Canals and Waterways. The network of inland waterways in India consists of rivers, canals, backwaters, and creeks with a total navigable length of 14,500 km.


  • The natural river flow is facing obstacles due to industrial and agriculture activities. Very recently NGT showed its concern over the incident of debris dumped on Yamuna floodplains and river bed.
  • The navigability of the water body is decreasing and as a result, the vessels are facing difficulties to conduct its normal operation.
  • Due to the tangled jurisdiction of different states, uninterrupted transport gets affected.
  • The deforestation program along the bank of the river causes soil erosion.
  • A huge investment needed to create a water transport channel.
  • It is time taking process so with compare to other modes of transport it is not that satisfying.

Way out

  • Restructuring of waterways by introducing government schemes and effective implementation.
  • Routine maintenance of the inland ports.
  • Attract more industrial players to avail this mode of transport
  • More budget allocation to this sector


Despite having many problems, inland water transport is much cheaper, environment friendly, and less prone to accidents. Keeping in mind its benefit, more focus should be given to this sector. It has the potential to deliver a seamless transport service.


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