USA is almost 3 times large in area as compared to India, It has developed deep inside the country not just on the Coastal corridors. One of the Main Reason is, the Integrated Water Way System in North America called Great Lakes St Lawrence Seaway System.
This system opened in 1959 and then it now accounts for 40% of USA Manufacturing industry business and 1/3 of USA GDP.
Virtually every commodity imaginable moves on the Great Lakes Seaway System. Annual commerce on the System exceeds 180 million metric tons (180,000,000) tons i.e. if we take a 10 Ton Truck its almost 1.8 Crore Truck Loads of Goods.
Basically Waterways use the Enormous Energy of the Water in the Lakes and Rivers to lift the Ships and Vessels using “Locks”
Using the Hydro Power in the Water it’s actually simple to actually LIFT the Ships or Barges using the system called Water Locks.
Below Diagram explains how it happens in below steps
- Lower Level River Gate Opens – Water level becomes as Lower
- Ship Comes in LL Gate Closed – Ship is now LOCKED between 2 Gates
- Water Released into Lock – Water Level and Ship Raises to Upper level
- Upper Gate Opens – Ship Moves Out on Upper Reservoir/River
Opposite way ship from upper level comes to lower level.
- Comparison of Energy Efficiency of Water Transport vs Others
- Waterways are 7 times more energy efficient than Road Transport, in other words sine road transport costs 7 times more to transport, landlocked states and regions of BIG countries have challenge to compete in international business with coastal cities, regions/states.
Hence every country places high importance to exploit the Rivers to develop Inland Waterways to act as Enablers to Energize the economies in the land locked regions and control the Greenhouse gases too.
In addition Road transport emits 5 times more CO2 emissions than water transport.
In India currently Only Ganga is Used for Inland Waterway, part of which is in Bangladesh too, below Graph shows How much Inland Waterways Play the Role in Development of Large Landlocked countries, China has realized and made massive investment and it has changed the face of Southern China with 6,000 KM water way accounting for 120 Crore Tones of Goods Movement, this should help us understand the importance of water way for long term economic development of inland areas in large countries.
This is one of the Amazing Gateway through which Sea going Ships Go from Lake Ontario in Canada to about 100 Meters Height Above Lake Erie in USA, between these Two lakes is the 99 Meter Niagara Water Fall and Niagara River. What happens is, Ships actually Climbs Up to the Niagara Water falls to Sail in Lake Erie, Yes that is the Magic of Welland Canal and 7 Locks as shown below.
Among Many Inland Waterways, I find the Tennessee River Water Way and Dams are Very Close to What South Central India can plan on River Godavari.
River Tennessee i.e. a Tributary to River Ohio that itself is tributary of Mississippi
Annual Water Flow of Over 2200 TMC
It is of Length Over 1000 KM
Water Locks LIFT 156 Meter
Like Above Knoxville at 248 Meter MSL Height to Kentucky i.e. at 114 Meter MSL Height Water Way with 9 Dams as Shown Above
This is part of this Inland River Ports USA has
I believe Prima facie it’s possible and must be pursued Water Way Between “Ramgundam to Rajhamundry via Bhadrachalam” with
Over 2000 TMC Water flows in a Year through River Godavari.
This distance is about 500 KM in River Godavari, it can leverage and Extend the Waterway Provision in Polavaram Design that currently can support till bhadrachalam through the 10 Meter Diameter Tunnel on Left side of Polavaram Dam.
With this provision Standard Barge and Jumbo Barges Can Traverse through River Godavari and Polavaram Dam Lock, However Super Jumbo and Tankers Can’t as current design of Polavaram Waterway Tunnel can’t accommodate.
What should Government of Telangana do?
- Instruct Irrigation Department to include Waterway of Same size as Polavaram i.e. up to 10 Meter Width and up to 1600 Tons Barges capacity Locks.
- Check whether current consultant actually has relevant experience, considering there is no proven experience and also challenges in planning are significant, make international invitation for bids on design of Godavari Waterway, Hydro Power and Irrigation Dams (Multipurpose National Project)
- All Road Bridges to be constructed must account for FREE Passage of Super Jumbo Size Barrages with suitable Drafts and Elevations
- There is good potential to include Maharashtra (Vidharbha) and Chattisgarh as beneficiary regions extending it through Indravati mainly, to some extent Pranahita too..
- Central Got has Ambitious Waterways Project for India and Telangana should embrace it
- I hope and wish Telangana does not construct Dams on River Godavari without the provision for Waterway, as this cannot be changed later.