R-LNG ships for sacred river Ganga

Vol 19, PW 12 (25 Feb 16) News in Brief

Raw sewage, dead animals and diesel fuel spilt overboard from boats are just some of the ingredients that make India's sacred river Ganga the fifth most polluted in the world.

Which is why Narendra Modi's cabinet approved an innovative plan this month (February) to replace diesel ships on the river with R-LNG ships under the 'Clean Ganga' project. "This idea will reduce pollution in the Ganga," says a government source.

He adds the shipping ministry wants to build three multi-purpose hubs for R-LNG fuelled ships at Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, Sahibganj in Jharkhand and Haldia in West Bengal. Private companies will be invited to invest with government support through the public-private partnership (PPP) model to develop a fleet of R-LNG ships to transport goods and tourists along the scenic river.

Five ships will initially be based at each hub but this might increase later. If the Ganga pilot is successful similar hubs will be set up by the government along rivers across the country.