Inland Waterways Authority of India (Hindi: भारतीय अंतर्देशीय जलमार्ग प्राधिकरण) (IWAI) was created by Government of India on 27 October 1986 for development and regulation of Inland waterways for shipping and navigation. The Authority primarily undertakes projects for development and maintenance of Inland Waterway Terminal infrastructure on National Waterways through grant received from Ministry of Shipping, Road Transport and Highways. The head office is at Noida. The Authority also has its regional offices at Patna, Kolkata, Guwahati and Kochi and sub-offices at Allahabad, Varanasi, Bhagalpur, Farrakka and Kollam.
India has an extensive network of inland waterways in the form of rivers, canals, backwaters and creeks. The total navigable length is 14,500 km, out of which about 5200 km of the river and 4000 km of canals can be used by mechanised crafts. Freight transportation by waterways is highly under-utilised in India compared to other large countries and geographic areas like the United States, China and the European Union. The total cargo moved (in tonne kilometres) by the inland waterway was just 0.1% of the total inland traffic in India, compared to the 21% figure for United States. Cargo transportation in an organised manner is confined to a few waterways in Goa, West Bengal, Assam ,and Kerala. Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) is the statutory authority in charge of the waterways in India. Its headquarters is located in Noida, UP. It does the function of building the necessary infrastructure in these waterways, surveying the economic feasibility of new projects and also administration.
The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) came into existence on 27th October 1986 for development and regulation of inland waterways for shipping and navigation