IWAI conducted a study on “Modal shift of cargo passing through Siliguri Corridor destined for North East and neighboring countries to IWT” in 2017. Based on the study, ~49 MMTPA of cargo moves in and out the North East Region and ~30 MMTPA of cargo moves within North East region. Of the overall volumes, ~ 8 MMTPA of cargo have divertible potential to IWT. The report further suggests that out of 8 MMTPA of divertible cargo, 3 million destined for North East can be easily diverted to inland waterways and divertability of remaining cargo shall be subject to freight incentives, service level offerings, development of adequate infrastructure on NW2, effective integration with NW1 & regulatory interventions.
NW-16 would provide penetration to hinterlands of lower Assam, Manipur, Tripura, Mizoram & Nagaland and would facilitate EXIM cargo movement to/from Bangladesh for key commodities, such as Fly ash & food grains.