The second phase of River Information System (RIS) was recently inaugurated on National Waterway-1 (River Ganga) between Farakka and Patna (with total length of 410 km). New navigation lock at Farakka was also unveiled to enable breeding of Hilsa fish. Both projects are aimed at boosting movement of cargo, fishery development in river Ganga and help to preserve the river ecosystem.
Phase II of RIS: It is deployed on 410 km Farakka-Patna stretch of NW-1. Under it, five base stations – Manihari, Bhagalpur, Munger, Barh and Hatidah and one control station have been made at Patna.
River Information System (RIS)
- It is form of vessel traffic management using next generation technology. It aims to streamline exchange of information between waterway operators and users.
- It works on lines of Air Traffic Controls. It is designed to optimize traffic and transport processes in inland navigation.
- Its services are combination of sensors like automated identification system, meteorological and hydrological equipment and software related services.
- Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) is nodal implementing authority of RIS project in India. It is being deployed in three phases on NW-1.
- Earlier, in 2016, first phase of RIS was commissioned on 545 km Haldia- Farakka stretch of NW-1. Work on phase III is currently in progress on356 kms Patna-Varanasi stretch.
Significance of RIS
- It will enhance swift electronic data transfer between mobile vessels and base stations on shore through advance and real-time exchange of information.
- It will help in crises management and enhanced inland navigation safety by preventing ship-to-ship collisions, ship - bridge collisions, groundings etc.
- It will immensely help in optimization of navigation and minimize collision risks in the waterway thus benefitting the users greatly.
Hilsa Passage through Farakka Navigation Lock
- It is envisaged for free movement of Hilsa fish at Farakka Navigation Lock. This fish species has significant cultural importance in West Bengal and is national fish of Bangladesh.
- This navigation Lock has been synchronised to suit requirements of Hilsa fish movement from Hoogly-Bhagirathi-River system to the upstream in river Ganga and vice-versa.
- The time of opening gates at this kock will be based on nature and time of movement of Hilsa fish, period of migration and breeding of species etc.
- This Hilsa migration will lead to increase in its production in region. It will also increase river biodiversity and boost economy of local fishermen.
Fish way/Fish passis structure on or around artificial and natural barriers (such as dams, waterfalls and locks) to facilitate natural fish migration. It enables fish to pass around barriers by swimming into the waters on other side. After construction of Farakka Navigation Lock in 1976, movement of Hilsa fish, which once reached up to Prayagraj also, was restricted up to Farakka only.