River Information System 

River Information System 
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Highlights

The rivers of India play an important role in the lives of the Indian people. The river systems provide irrigation, potable water, cheap transportation, electricity, as well as provide livelihoods for a large number of people all over the country.

The rivers of India play an important role in the lives of the Indian people. The river systems provide irrigation, potable water, cheap transportation, electricity, as well as provide livelihoods for a large number of people all over the country.

This easily explains why nearly all the major cities of India are located by the banks of river. The rivers also have an important role in Hindu mythology and are considered holy by all Hindus in the country. Seven major rivers (Indus, Brahmaputra, Narmada, Tapi, Godavari, Krishna and Mahanadi ) along with their numerous tributaries make up the river system of India.

Most of the rivers pour their waters into the Bay of Bengal. Some of the rivers whose courses take them through the western part of the country and towards the east of the state of Himachal Pradesh empty into the Arabian Sea.

All major rivers of India originate from one of the three main watersheds: The Himalaya and the Karakoram ranges; Vindhya and Satpura ranges and Chotanagpur plateau in central India; and Sahyadri or Western Ghats in western India.

The Central government proposes to launch a River Information System (RIS) on lines of Air Traffic Control. RIS is a combination of tracking and meteorological equipment with specialized software designed to optimize traffic and transport processes in inland navigation.

The system enables swift electronic data transfer between mobile vessels and shore (base stations) through advance and real-time exchange of information so as to ensure navigation safety in inland waterways. It also provides virtual navigational aids to guide the vessel during navigation.

Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) has taken up installation of RIS initially in National Waterway-1 (NW-1) on river Ganga, in three phases, viz. Haldia-Farakka, Farakka-Patna, and Patna-Varanasi. RIS in the Haldia-Farakka stretch has already been operationalized and in the other two stretches, it is targeted to be operationalised by December 2016.

All the vessels plying on National Waterways (NWs) need to be made compatible for using RIS. In view of the importance of the inland water transport, the government has launched an ambitious plan of developing 106 more inland waterways identified in 24 States, for which a National Waterways Bill, 2015 has been passed by the Lok Sabha.

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