Maruti Suzuki has signed a pact with the Indian government to transport its vehicles through inland waterways, which will help the carmaker cut logistics cost.
Radhakrishnan, the Minister of State for Shipping has written to the Rajya Sabha, stating, "A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) and Maruti Suzuki India Ltd for transportation of cars through inland vessels."
The IWAI has deployed a vessel at Varanasi to transport Maruti Suzuki cars from Varanasi to Kolkata on the Ganga river, through National Waterway - 1.
On the logistics front, waterways work out much cheaper than transport by road or train. Waterways cost is barely 50 paise per km, while road transport is about Rs. 1.50/km and railways cost Rs. 1/km.
In India, transport by road and railways plays a very important role unlike other countries where more than 40 percent of the goods are transported by inland waterways.
In India, waterways make around 14,500km, while only 5,200km of rivers and 4,000km of canals can be accessed by a mechanised craft. The parliament recently passed a bill to convert 111 rivers in India to national waterways.