Waterways are the cheapest means of transport, most suitable for carrying heavy and bulky goods. Waterways are also fuel efficient and environment friendly mode of transport. India has inland navigable waterways of 14,500 km in length. Out of these, only 3700 km are navigable by mechanized boats. The government has declared the following waterways as National Waterways:
The Ganga river, between Allahabad and Haldia (1620 km)-N.W No.1.
The Brahmaputra river, between Sadiya and Dhubri (891 km)N.W No.2.
The West-Coast CanalIn Kerala (Kottapurma-Komman, Udyogmandal and Champakara canals - 205 kms) - N.W No.3
Other waterways, like Godavari, Krishna, Barak, Sunderbans, Buckingham canal, Brahmani, East Coast canal, and DVC canal have been found viable as inland waterways.