The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) has published 13 standardised ship designs suitable for large barge haulage on the Ganga river, also known as National Waterway-1.

Available on the IWAI website, the designs will help get rid of ambiguity on the class and type of vessels that can sail on the river with efficient manoeuvrability.

The design will also enable the local shipyards to build ships of standardised dimensions and capacity and make them available off the shelf propositions. The designs will further support the ‘sale and purchase’ market for inland vessels.

In a statement, the Ministry of Shipping said: “This marks attaining of a critical milestone in the growth of the country’s inland water transport sector, as it will help overcome the unique navigation challenges river Ganga throws due to its complex river morphology, hydraulics, acute bends, shifting channels, meanders and current.”

“It will serve as an enabler for domestic shipbuilding industry working on inland vessels and open huge possibilities for cargo and passenger movement on National Waterway-1.”

“It will serve as an enabler for domestic shipbuilding industry working on inland vessels and open huge possibilities for cargo and passenger movement on National Waterway-1.”

The designs comprise a number of dry and liquid bulk carriers, container carriers, ro-ro vessels, LNG carriers, as well as tug and barges.

A five-deck car carrier design will be capable of carrying approximately 350 cars in water depths of nearly two metres. Similarly, a bulk carrier with a capacity of 2,500t will be able to operate in three metres of water depth.

Germany-based DST designed the vessels while the model testing of the ships was carried out in Duisburg, Germany.

The technical design team also included experts from IWAI, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, and Indian Register of Shipping with periodical technical consultations with domain experts of the World Bank.