The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) came into existence on 27th October 1986 for development and regulation of inland waterways for shipping and navigation. The Authority primarily undertakes projects for development and maintenance of IWT infrastructure on national waterways through grant received from Ministry of Shipping. The head office of the Authority is at Noida. The Authority also has its regional offices at Patna, Kolkata, Guwahati and Kochi and sub-offices at Allahabad, Varanasi, Farakka, Sahibganj, Haldia, Swroopganj, Hemnagar, Dibrugarh, Dhubri, Silchar, Kollam, Bhubaneshwar and Vijayawada.
India has about 14,500 km of navigable waterways which comprise of rivers, canals, backwaters, creeks, etc. About 55 million tones of cargo is being moved annually by Inland Water Transport (IWT), a fuel - efficient and environment -friendly mode. Its operations are currently restricted to a few stretches in the Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hooghly rivers , the Brahmaputra, the Barak river, the rivers in Goa, the backwaters in Kerala, inland waters in Mumbai and the deltaic regions of the Godavari - Krishna rivers. Besides these organized operations by mechanized vessels, country boats of various capacities also operate in various rivers and canals. and substantial quantum of cargo and passengers are transported in this unorganized sector as well.
- Navigation,Infrastructure and Regulations
- Fairway Development
- Coordination of IWT with other modes
- Advise Central Govt.
- Carry out hydrographic surveys
- Assist State Governments
- Develop consultancy services
- Research & Development
- Classification of waterways
- Standards & safety