VARANASI: Ferrying passengers between different locations on the stretch between Varanasi and Haldia in West Bengal will soon be a reality with the introduction of ferry services on Ganga.

Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), ministry of shipping, signed an agreement with US-based Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Thompson Design Group (TDG) in December last year to identify locations for construction of 18 ferry terminals for ferry services on the Ganga in Varanasi, Allahabad, Patna, Munger, Kolkata and Haldia to help decongest traffic. This stretch, named National Waterway-1, is being developed for navigation of both passengers and cargo.

Senior officials of IWAI said that they had been mulling over ferry services for quite some time but were skeptical of the feasibility until they provided big cargoes to Bihar government to transport thousands of devotees through the river during Prakash Mahostav between January 1 and 5.