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Water transport

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Comprising of rivers, canals, backwaters, creeks, etc., India has about 14,500 km of navigable waterways. 50 million tonnes of cargo are being annually moved by inland water transport. 95% of India’s global merchandise trade is carried through the sea route. The Government approved the inland water transport policy which includes a number of incentives to encourage private sector participation in inland water transport. India comprises of a long coastline of 7,517 km, 12 major ports, 200 minor ports and a vast hinterland. The total traffic carried by both, the major and minor ports was 560 million tonnes during 2011- 12. The 12 major ports carry about 64% of the total traffic, and Kandla port is the top traffic handler in the last 5 years. Though coastal shipping is very efficient and the cheapest mode of transport for carrying bulk goods over long distances there had been a decline in coastal shipping operations during 1960s and 70s. The Gross Tonnage (GT) was 0.31 million GT at the time of independence has increased to 1.02 million GT in 2011.

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