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THE INLAND WATERWAYS AUTHORITY OF INDIA ACT, 1985

Title : THE INLAND WATERWAYS AUTHORITY OF INDIA ACT, 1985

Year : 1985




(1) Without prejudice to the foregoing provisions of this Act, the Authority shall, in the discharge of its functions and duties under this Act, be bound by such directions on questions of policy as the Central Government may give in writing to it from time to time:
Provided that the Authority shall, as far as practicable, be given opportunity to express its views before any direction is given under this sub-section.

(2) The decision of the Central Government whether a question is one of policy or not shall be final.



Any land required by the Authority for discharging its functions under this Act shall be deemed to be needed for a public purpose and such land may be acquired for the Authority under the provisions of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 (1 of 1894.) or of any other corresponding law for the time being in force.



(1) The provisions of this Act shall be in addition to the provisions of the Indian Ports Act, 1908 (15 of 1908) and the Major Port Trusts Act, 1963 (38 of 1963) and in particular nothing in this Act shall affect any jurisdiction, functions, powers or duties required to be exercised, performed or discharged by:

(a) The conservator of any port or by any officer or authority under the Indian Ports Act, 1908 (15 of 1908) or

(b) The Board of Trustees for any major port or by any officer or authority under the Major Port Trusts Act, 1963 (38 of 1963) in or in relation to any portion of an inland waterway (including the national waterway) falling within the limits of such port or major port.

(2) Nothing in this Act shall affect the operation of the Inland Vessels Act, 1917 (1 of 1917) or any other Central Act (other than the Indian Ports Act, 1908 (15 of 1908) and the Major Port Trusts Act, 1963 (38 of 1963) or any State or provincial Act in force immediately before the commencement of this Act with respect to shipping and navigation on any national waterway 1***.

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1. Certain words omitted by Act 8 of 1994, s. 3.469.30

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Subject to any rules made in this behalf, any person, generally or specially authorised by the Authority in this behalf, may, whenever it in necessary so to do for any of the purposes of this Act, at all reasonable times, enter upon any land or premises and:

(a) Make any inspection, survey, measurement, valuation or inquiry;

(b) Take levels;

(c) Dig or bore into sub-soil;

(d) Set out boundaries and intended lines of work;

(e) Mark such level boundaries and lines by placing marks and cutting trenches; or

(f) do such other acts or things as may be prescribed:

Provided that no such person shall enter any building or any enclosed court or garden attached to a dwelling-house (unless with the consent of the occupier thereof) without previously giving such occupier at least twenty-four hours notice in writing of his intention to do so.



The Authority may, by general or special order in writing, delegate to the Chairman or any other member or to any officer of the Authority, subject to such conditions and limitations, if any, as may be specified in the order such of its powers and functions under this Act (except the powers under section 35) as it may deem necessary.



All orders and decisions of the Authority shall be authenticated by the signature of the Chairman or any other member authorised by the Authority in this behalf and all other instruments executed by the Authority shall be authenticated by the signature of an officer of the Authority authorised by the Authority in this behalf.



All members, officers and other employees of the Authority shall be deemed, when acting or purporting to act in pursuance of any of the provisions of this Act, to be public servants within the meaning of section 21 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860).



(1) No suit, prosecution or other legal proceedings shall lie against the Government or any officer of the Government or any member, officer or employee of the Authority for anything which is in good faith done or intended to be done under this Act or the rules or regulations made there under.

(2) No suit or other legal proceedings shall lie against the Authority for any damage caused or likely to be caused by anything in good faith done or purported to be done under this Act or the rules or regulations, and in particular, it shall not be the responsibility of the Authority to provide for relief measures necessitated by floods or by breaches and failures of works.



(1) If, at any time, the Central Government is of opinion:

(a) That on account of a grave emergency, the Authority is unable to discharge the functions and duties imposed on it by or under the provisions of this Act; or

(b) That the Authority has persistently made default in complying with any direction issued by the Central Government under this Act or in the discharge of the functions and duties imposed on it by or under the provisions of this Act and as a result of which default the financial position of the Authority or the administration of any national waterway has deteriorated; or

(c) That circumstances exist which render it necessary in the public interest so to do, the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, supersede the Authority for such period, not exceeding six months, as may be specified in the notification:

Provided that before issuing a notification under this sub-section for the reasons mentioned in clause (b), the Central Government shall give a reasonable opportunity to the Authority to show cause why it should not be superseded and shall consider the explanations and objection, if any, of the Authority.

(2) Upon the publication of a notification under sub-section (1) superseding the Authority:

(a) All the members shall, as from the date of supersession, vacate their offices as such;

(b) All the powers, functions and duties which may, by or under the provisions of this Act, be exercised or discharged by or on behalf of the Authority, shall, until the Authority is reconstituted under sub-section (3), be exercised and discharged by such person or persons as the Central Government may direct;

(c) All property owned or controlled by the Authority shall, until the Authority is reconstituted under sub-section (3), vest in the Central Government.

(3) On the expiration of the period of supersession specified in the notification issued under sub-section (1), the Central Government may-

(a) Extend the period of supersession for such further term, not exceeding six months, as it may consider necessary; or

(b) Reconstitute the Authority by fresh appointment and in such case any persons who vacated their offices under clause (a) of sub-section (2) shall not be deemed disqualified for appointment:

Provided that the Central Government may, at any time before the expiration of the period of supersession, whether as originally specified under sub-section (1) or as extended under this sub-section, take action under clause (b) of this sub-section.

(4) The Central Government shall cause a notification issued under sub-section (1) and a full report of any action taken under this section and the circumstances leading to such action to be laid before such House of Parliament at the earliest opportunity.



(1) The Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, make rules to carry out the purposes of this Act.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, such rules may provide for all or any of the following matters, namely:-

(a) The term of office and other conditions of service of the members of the Authority under section 4;

(b) The powers and duties of the Chairman and Vice-Chairman under section 5;

(c) The matters with respect to the Advisory Committee referred to in sub-section (1) of section 9;

(d) The amount required to be prescribed under sub-section (4) of section 14;

(e) The form in which, and the time at which, the Authority shall prepare its budget under section 20 and its annual report under section 22;

(f) The manner in which the Authority may invest its funds under section 21;

(g) The manner in which the accounts of the Authority shall be maintained and audited under section 23;

(h) The conditions and restrictions with respect to exercise of the power to enter under section 28 and the matters referred to in clause (f) of that section; and

(i) Any other matter which is to be, or may be, prescribed or in respect of which provision is to be, or may be, made by rules.



(1) The Authority may, with the previous approval of the Central Government, by notification in the Official Gazette, make regulations consistent with this Act and the rules generally to carry out the purposes of this Act.

(2) In particular and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, such regulations may provide for all or any of the following matters, namely:-

(a) The manner in which and the purposes for which, the Authority may associate with itself any person under sub-section (4) of section 3;

(b) The terms and conditions of service of the Secretary and other officers and employees of the Authority under sub-section
(2) of section 8;

(c) The contracts or class of contracts which are to be sealed with the common seal of the Authority and the form and manner in which a contract may be made by the Authority;

(d) The manner in which, and the conditions subject to which, any functions in relation to the matters referred to in sub-sections (1) and (2) of section 14 may be performed;

(e) The rule of the road on a national waterway;

(f) The safe, efficient and convenient use, management and control of the infrastructures and infrastructural facilities;

(g) The reception, porterage, storage and removal of goods brought on a national waterway, and the procedure to be followed for taking charge of goods which may have been damaged before landing, or may be alleged to have been so damaged;

(h) Regulating, declaring and defining the docks, wharfs, jetties, landing stages on which goods shall be landed from vessels and shipped on board vessels;

(i) Regulating the manner in which and the conditions under which the loading and unloading of vessels on a national waterway shall be carried out; and

(j) The exclusion from a national waterway of disorderly or other undesirable persons and of trespassers.

(3) Any regulation made under any of the clauses (c) to (j) of sub-section (2) may provide that a contravention thereof shall be punishable with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees and in the case of a continuing contravention with an additional fine which may extend to twenty rupees for every day during which such contravention continues after conviction for the first such contravention.



Every rule and every regulation made under this Act shall be laid, as soon as may be after it is made, before each House of Parliament, while it is in session, for a total period of thirty days which may be comprised in one session or in two or more successive sessions, and if, before the expiry of the session or the successive sessions aforesaid, both Houses agree in making any modification in the rule or regulation or both House agree that the rule or regulation should not be made, the rule or regulation shall thereafter have effect only in such modified form or be of no effect, as the case may be; so, however, that any such modification or annulment shall be without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done under that rule or regulation.



(1) If any difficulty arises in giving effect to the provisions of this Act, the Central Government may, by order, published in the Official Gazette, make such provisions not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act as may appear to be necessary for removing the difficulty:

Provided that no order shall be made under this section after the expiry of five years from the commencement of this Act.

(2) Every order made under this section shall be laid, as soon as may be after it is made, before each House of Parliament.



In the National Waterway (Allahabad-Haldia Stretch of the Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hooghly River) Act, 1982:

(a) In section 3, for the words "Central Government", the word "Union" shall be substituted, and for the words "to the extent hereinafter provided", the words and figures "to the extent provided in the Inland Waterways Authority of India Act, 1985" shall be substituted;

(b) Sections 4 to 15 shall be omitted.

Last updated on April, 2016

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