19 October 2015


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Krishna District

Amaravati to benefit from Buckingham Canal revival VIJAYAWADA: Andhra Pradesh in general, and its new capital of Amaravati in particular, will benefit from the revival of Buckingham Canal from Yanam near Kakinada to Chennai, as it will greatly help transportation of goods and cargo through the canal. The Buckingham Canal System was a major water transport link between different agriculturally vibrant regions along the East Coast in Southern India from the British era. It was used for navigation till 1980 when it was closed down for cargo boats. It connects Kakinada with Chennai through a network of canals of the rivers Godavari and Krishna. A recent inspection of the canal from Rajahmundry to Nellore saw encroachments on canal bunds at many places. It is also found highly silted and required desilting and deepening for easy movement of boats. The rising costs of land transport and economic viability of the water transport system, have once again made the Government look to it and the revival plans of the 1,100 km-long canal system that runs through Yanam-Kakinada, Rajahmundry, Eluru, Vijayawada, Tenali, Nellore and Chennai are under active consideration. There is a dire need for modernisation of the Buckingham Canal, constructed in the early 19th Century, to ensure that it is at least 32 metres wide and 2.5 metres deep, before cargo boats can be re-introduced to ferry the local agricultural and industrial produce. A comprehensive survey is undertaken by the Central Goverrnment to ascertain the actual status of the entire canal network in the three states of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry and as part of it, the regional office of inland waterways was set up in Vijayawada recently and it is expected to monitor the progress of the DPR and later the modernisation works. Starting from Kakinada in East Godavari district, the Buckingham Canal courses through over 800 km in the State before ending in Puducherry. A vibrant region right from the British period, Nellore district forms the central point and the Mypadu beach there only 40 km away from the Krishnapatnam port which is likely to emerge as an important point for transportation in the canal whose detailed project report (DPR) is almost ready. Once the waterway project and revival of the Buckingham Canal becomes a reality, the trade and industry in the vicinity of Amaravati is expected to get a major boost, considering the low cost transportation involved in the process. There are already several thermal power stations, coconut and edible oil plants, and textile units in this region. With the Centre is ready to spend about Rs 2,000 crore on the modernisation of inland waterways for cargo transport in the next seven years, it will be possible to transport nearly 15 million tonnes of cargo between Kakinada and Puducherry, as the canal passes through Vijayawada, very close to Amaravati, the new capital which will be centre of all activity in the near future.

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Amaravati to benefit from Buckingham Canal revival