Jaladhara Scheme for Financial Assistance to replace Bhutbhuti

Government of West Bengal
Transport Department
Paribahan Bhawan
12, R.N. Mukherjee Road Kolkata – 700 001.

No. 689-WT/TR/N/3W-13/17 Dated, Kolkata, the 15th Feb, 2018


Sub: Revised guidelines with regard to Jaladhara Scheme

Whereas a large number of people are earning their daily livelihood at present by providing much needed ferry services commercially along or across the rivers using so-called ‘BHUTBHUTI’ (usually unregistered semi-mechanised boats, fitted with engines but not having the required safety measures) in both rural and urban areas in this State;

AND Whereas the State Government has already decided to take necessary steps to develop the major ghats and jetties on some major rivers in the State used for ferry services in phases and formulated the SOP (Standard Operating Procedures) for such ghats/ferries to ensure safety, security and comfort of passengers as well as to prevent possibilities of major accidents on waterways;

Whereas in the interest of ensuring safety and security of passengers using water transport, the State Government has decided to take special initiatives to discourage use of ‘BHUTBHUTI’ meant for providing such ferry services to public, taking into consideration of the recommendations made in the report submitted by the Technical Committee constituted by Transport Department, Government of West Bengal vide Order No. 2380-WT/TR/O/3W-15/16 dated 21.06.2016 and to supplant them by reliable boats with appropriate safety features worthy of lawful registration;

And Whereas the guidelines of the Jaladhara scheme were issued vide order No. 2926-WT/3W-13/2017 dated, Kolkata, the 27th June, 2017 and in suppression of this order following revised guidelines as given hereunder are issued with the approval of Finance Department, Government of West Bengal vide UO No Group R/2017-18/0356 dated 09/02/2018.

Now, therefore, after careful consideration of all relevant factors, the Governor is pleased hereby to formulate and introduce a “scheme”, namely, “JALADHARA”, (hereinafter referred to as the “scheme”) for extending financial assistance for replacement or conversion, as the case may be of the existing ‘BHUTBHUTI’s by safe and secure mechanically propelled boats built on approved design in the interest of public safety as well as for creation of self-employment to be implemented as per following guidelines:-


1. Short Title:

This scheme is named as ‘JALADHARA‘.

2. Objective:

The objective of the scheme is to extend financial assistance to micro-entrepreneurs in order to enable them to provide and ensure safe and secure ferry services in inland water transport sector by replacement or conversion of the existing in-use semi-mechanized and unregistered ‘BHUTBHUTI’s in the State with different models of low-cost mechanized wooden/steel vessels, as per approved designs and specifications, run by specially trained boat-men (sareng, engine-drivers etc) authorized under Inland Vessels Act, 1917, as well as to engage personnel at every ferry ghat/jetty under control of Transport Department to keep vigil on compliance of tire SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) to ensure safety of passengers. In cases, where micro entrepreneurs are not readily forthcoming to avail of the opportunity and assistance, the state government may directly engage in procurement and roll out of such watercrafts.

3. Implementation of the “scheme”:

The “scheme” will be implemented as a State Government Sponsored Scheme.

4. Nodal Department and Agency:

Transport Department, Government of West Bengal will act as the Nodal Department for the “scheme” to be implemented in the State and West Bengal Transport Infrastructure Development Corporation (hereinafter referred to as WBTIDCL) under Transport Department will act as the State Level Nodal Agency for implementation of the scheme.

5. Definition:

a) “Applicant” means a person who has applied for financial assistance under this scheme.

b) ‘BHUTBHUTI’ means any semi-mechanized boat, used for providing commercial ferry services to public, fitted with engines and not having the required equipment or measures for safety and security of navigation as well as passengers, but does not include any boat or trawler used exclusively for fishing purpose or carrying goods.

c) “Boat-builder” means any person/firm/company having workshop duly authorized by the Inland Water Transport Directorate (hereinafter termed as IWTD) under Transport Department, Government of West Bengal and engaged, at least for last two years, in building different models of mechanized wooden/steel vessel as per designs and specifications approved by the appropriate authority with all measures for safety and security of navigation as well as passengers and having capacity of carrying passengers not less than 20

d) “Financier” means any Nationalized Bank /Financial Institution functioning in West Bengal and will include any of the Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFC) as and when given in schedule I of this Scheme subject to changes made by the Transport Department time to time, if so required.

e) “Jalasathi” means any personnel engaged under this scheme at every ferry ghat/jetty under control of Transport Department on contractual basis to keep vigil on compliance of the Standard Operating Procedure for ferry ghats/jetties (issued by the Transport Department vide Notification No. 3450-WT/TR/O/3W-15/2016 dated 05.09.2016) related to ensure safety of passengers and effective field level implementation of the this Scheme.

f) “Operator” means any person who operates a public ferry under the meaning of Section 6 of The Bengal Ferries Act, 1885 and/or who owns any existing BHUTBHUTI which is operated at present to provide commercial ferry services on any river in the State, duly certified by the Block Development Officer of the respective Block or Secretary of Municipal Corporation or Executive officer of Municipality/ Notified Area Authority, as the case ,may be under whose jurisdiction such ferry service is provided;

g) “Project cost” means the price of the new mechanized boat or the cost of the conversion/ modification to make a boat safe, lawful and worthy of registration and plying, quoted by the Boat-builder within the limit approved by the Inland Water Transport Directorate uner Transport Department, as total cost of the vessel of specific model, proposed to be purchased by the applicant for the purpose of availing benefit of the scheme, inclusive of all taxes and other charges, but excluding charges for registration, other fees payable to the Government etc.

h) “Sanctioned” means the cases sanctioned by the appropriate authority for disbursement of subsidy amount under this scheme.

i) “State Government” means Government of West Bengal.

j) “Specification” means the design and technical specifications of every model of vessels approved by the IWTD to be followed by the Boat-builder.

k) “Subsidy” means Financial Assistance from State Government to the tune of 30% of the Project Cost, subject to a maximum of Rs. 1,00,000/- (One lakh) only per boat, extended to the applicant under this scheme provided that there shall not be any cap on the number of Bhutbhutis to be replaced under this scheme, in the interest of ensuring safety and security of the passengers, by any single operator

6. Eligibility for subsidy:-

Any existing operator, as defined in para 5(f) of this order, is eligible to receive subsidy, as per limit prescribed in para 5(k) of this order, under this ‘scheme’ provided he/she undertakes to abide by the clauses, as applicable to him/her, mentioned in the Standard Operating Procedure for ferry ghats/jetties issued by the Transport Department vide Notification No. 3450-WT/TR/O/3W-15/2016 dated 05.09.2016.

7. Applicability:-

a) The scheme shall be applicable to any individual operator as defined in para 5(f) of this order above and who wants to be ‘Self-Employed’ as a service-provider in inland water transport sector by purchasing a new mechanized boat/replacing/modifying the existing Bhutbhuti by a safe, lawful, low-cost mechanized boat which is worthy of registration and plying for the purpose of ferrying passengers commercially.

(b) The scheme shall also be applicable to the boat-men (sareng, engine-drivers etc) of existing Bhutbhutis intended to be specially trained under this scheme to obtain certificate of competency under Inland Vessel Act, 1917 (as amended).

(c) The scheme shall also be applicable to the persons to be engaged as “Jalasathi”.

8. Funding Pattern for boat building:-

Subject to compliance of all conditions, as mentioned at para 6 and 7 above,

a) The eligible applicant, applying for subsidy under the scheme, will deposit a part of the project cost, as to be mutually agreed between the applicant and the Boat-builder as initial down-payment to the Boat-builder, which shall be mentioned in the agreement entered into by the applicant and the Boat-builder.

b) The State Govt shall provide a subsidy of 30% of the project cost subject to a maximum of Rs. 1,00,000/ – (one lakh) only per boat to each eligible applicant under this scheme.

c) The balance of the project cost may be provided by the financier as a term loan or working capital loan, where financial assistance is taken by the applicant from any financier for the purchase of the vessel under an agreement of hire-purchase or lease or hypothecation.

9. Coverage:-

This scheme shall be applicable for the entire state of West Bengal. The financier functioning in the State may take up the execution of the scheme throughout West Bengal.

10. Fund Management:-

a) Subsidy will be provided by the State Government

b) The allotment for subsidy under this Scheme to be released by the Finance Department to the Head of Account as detailed below:

“3055-Road Transport-00-190-Assistance to Public Sector and Other Undertakings-SP-007-Implementation of the Scheme JALADHARA-33-Subsidies-05-Other Subsidies”.

c) The Finance Department will release the Subsidy to the Transport Department and Transport Department will subsequently transfer the same to the Deposit Account of WBTIDCL, after observing due formalities.

d) WBTIDCL shall be allowed to expend up to 3% of the total budgetary allotment for various Administrative and Office(A&OE) expenses and logistics needed for implementation and monitoring of the scheme.

e) WBTIDCL, for this purpose, will open a dedicated and separate Savings Account in one of the Nationalized Banks, as per order of Finance Department issued for this purpose. Separate Ledger should also be maintained for this purpose. The Bank Account shall be operated by WBTIDCL.

f) The loan component of the scheme may be financed by any financier as defined under clause (d) of Para 5 of this Order.


a) Initially WBTIDCL or any other public authority/STU like WBTC etc. will engage “Jalasathi” for each Jetty/ ghat, where fund for implementation of SOP has already been released by Transport Department.

b) “Jalasathi” will be engaged temporarily purely on contractual basis, by way of outsourcing through engagement of placement Agencies, to be selected following usual tender formalities as applicable, and also by observing the contractual remuneration and other procedures laid down by Finance Department and relevant orders/circulars in this regard time to time.

c) Number of “Jalasathi” to be engaged will be determined on the basis of daily commuters in each jetty/ghat. Jetties having higher number of commuters will be 3 (three) while for other jetties/ghats, number of such Jalasathi will be 2 (two) and the actual requirement will be determined by WBTIDCL with approval of Transport Department.

d) “Jalasathi” engaged in the manner stated above will be trained by WBTIDCL under a module prepared for training on compliance of SOP on safety of passengers at the jetty/ghat, basic first-aid, reporting of accidents or events of non-compliance of SOP etc.

e) “Jalasathi” will report any incident or non-compliance of SOP related to safety of passengers or use of any boat not compliant to safety standards as specified by IWTD at the respective jetty/ghat to WBTIDCL immediately.

f) The expenditure to be incurred for engagement of “Jalasathi” will be incurred out of the relevant head of account of JALASATHI within the budgetary provision of Transport Department under Demand no 53, with concurrence of Finance Department.

12. Procedure for Sanction and disbursement of subsidy for Boat-Building:-

12.1 How to Apply

a) The applicants shall submit the duly filled in applications in prescribed format (Annexure-I) with required documents to the Secretary, Regional Transport Authority under whose jurisdiction the existing ferry service is being operated at present along with the copy of the agreement entered into with any Boat-builder as noted at Para 8(a) above and the Financier, if any, by the applicant for purchasing a specific model of vessel with details of specifications and design of the vessel and its cost-component.

b) The “Jaladhara Facilatator” (i.e. the notified Boat-builder) will help and facilitate the applicant to prepare the applications for submission to concerned Regional Transport Authority (hereinafter to be called as RTA).

c) The application must be accompanied by the certificate as ‘operator’ as required under clause (f) of para 5 of this scheme.

12.2 Method of Sanction

a) After receipt of application in prescribed format (Annexure-I) along with relevant documents as detailed at para 12.1, Secretary, Regional Transport Authority will place the applications in the meeting of Regional Transport Authority (hereinafter to be called as RTA) of concerned District for discussion and consideration.

b) RTA/District Magistrate will deliberate upon each application and after careful examination of all the aspects like technical, financial, potential of concerned Boat Builder, and Financier as well as capacity of the applicant for repayment of loan, will either recommend or reject the application with reason for cancellation to be recorded in writing. Secretary, RTA will keep records of all the applications and their final status.

c) District Magistrate/ RTOs of respective RTA shall send all the relevant documents along with copy of the resolution of the meeting and the list of recommended application, duly signed by the Chairman, RTA to Director, Inland Water Transport Directorate under Transport Department (hereinafter to be called as IWTD) for necessary examination of the technical aspect of the proposal and IWTD will issue necessary technical recommendation, observing the process mentioned at Para 13 B below and will send the list of recommended application along with all relevant documents to Director, WBTIDCL, for further processing.

d) IWTD will take immediate steps for necessary examination of the technical aspect of the proposal(s) and issue necessary technical recommendation(s), observing the process mentioned at Para 13 B below and will send the list of recommended application(s) along with all relevant documents to WBTIDCL, for further processing. IWTD will keep records of all the proposals.

e) Upon receipt of list of recommended applications from IWTD, WBTIDCL will examine and process the applications to accord acceptance or rejection with reason to be recorded in writing and will take necessary action for disbursement of subsidy under the Scheme.

f) For any acceptable case, the WBTIDCL will immediately issue a provisional sanction letter to the applicant for the subsidy of appropriate amount allowable under the Scheme directing the applicant to contact the concern Jaladhara- Facilitator and the financier, if any, and deposit the initial down-payment as referred under 8(a) within a week and placed the order for making the boat of desired design with the consent of financier, if any. Copies of provisional sanction-letter are to be endorsed to the IWTD, the concerned Jaladhara-Facilitator and concerned RTA and Financier.

g) On receipt of the provisional sanction-letter for grant of subsidy from WBTIDCL under the scheme the applicant shall contact the facilitator within a week and-

(i) enter into an agreement with any Bank or NBFC (as and when listed under Schedule I), if required, for getting financial assistance to purchase the boat;

(ii) deposit part of the project cost as initial down-payment to the Jaladhara-Facilitator (dealer), as mutually agreed.

(h) On receipt of the documents mentioned under clause (g), the concerned Jaladhara-Facilitator will issue a letter (in the format at Annexure VII) within 2 (two) weeks confirming that the applicant has made his initial down-payment to the facilitator (dealer), as already agreed, and the financier, if any, as agreed to disburse loan as finankcial assictance in favour of the applicant to purchase the boat and request WBTIDC to release the subsidy.

(ha) On recipt of the confirmation in form VII from the facilitator, WBTIDC will finally sanction grant of subsidy and initially release 50% of the subsidy amount already sanctioned against the benefifiary in favour of the concerned fecilitator against his declared bank-account either by ‘Account-payee’ cheque or by direct electronic transfer (NEFT/RTGS), as may be convenient. The fact of release of subsidy will be informed to the concerned RTA, Jaladhara-Facilitator and Financier. IWTD/PMU will also be kept informed with the request to take necessary actions to inspect, examine and submit periodical report to WBTIDCL on status and progress of manufacturing of the boat by the concerned Boat-builder.

i) On receipt of satisfactory report from IWTD/PMU on progress of work, WBTIDCL will further release the rest 50% of the subsidy amount in favour of the concerned facilitator against his declared bank-account either by ‘Account-payee’ cheque or by direct electronic transfer (NEFT/RTGS), as may be convenient, with intimation to the concerned RTA, Jaladhara-Facilitator, Financier and IWTD/PMU.

j) WBTIDCL shall also inform the rejected applicant stating the reason for rejection with an intimation to respective RTA, Jaladhara Facilitator and Financier concerned.

k) WBTIDCL will also closely monitor the process of procurement of Boat by the applicant with the help of the RTA concerned for proper utilization of Govt. subsidy under this scheme and will send a monthly report to to IWTD and Transport Department for monitoring and record.

l) District Magistrate and Chairman RTA concerned, upon receipt of the communication from WBTIDCL will closely monitor the process of procurement of Boat by the applicant and will send a monthly report to Director, WBTIDCL with a copy to IWTD and Transport Department for monitoring and record.

m) WBTIDCL will also send monthly report of progress of the Scheme along with relevant details to the Transport Department for overall monitoring and record.

13. Jaladhara-Facilitator (i.e. Boat-builder):-

a) Any boat-builder, as defined in clause (c) of Para 5 of this order, intending to act as ‘Jaladhara-Facilitator’ in the State shall apply to the WBTIDCL for necessary certification from WBTIDCL to act as Jaladhara-Facilitator. WBTIDCL may obtain necessary views from IWTD. The Facilitator shall also inform WBTIDCL in Form V-A the details of his bank account to which the subsidy will be remitted in terms of clause (h) of para 12.2.

b) The Jaladhara-Facilitator shall enter into an agreement with the applicant for delivery of a mechanized vessel built as per specification and design approved by IWTD at a price within the maximum limit prescribed by IWTD within the time-frame and against the initial down-payment made by the applicant mentioned in the agreement.

c) He will extend co-operation to the applicant to tie up with any financier so as to reach an agreement for disbursement of required loan, if any, for purchasing the vessel and ensure issue of pre-sanction letter by the financier.

d) He will assist the applicant to prepare his application for grant of subsidy under Jaladhara Scheme and also for registration of the vessel as required under Indian Vessels Act, 1917.

e) On receipt of tire provisional sanction letter along with the down-payment and agreement with financier as referred in clause (g) of para 12.2, the Jaladhara-Facilitator shall issue a letter in the format at Annexure VII.

(ea) On receipt of the 1st installment of subsidy, the Jaladhara-Facilitator shall immediately start manufacturing of the boat as per approved design and shall also cooperate with IWTD/PMU for inspection and examination of manufacturing process time to time.

(eb) After getting the full subsidy, the Jaladhara-Facilitator will complete manufacturing of the boat within stipulated time and will also ensure delivery of the boat only after registartion of the same under Inland Vessel Act, 1917 by IWTD.

f) WBTIDCL will engage a suitable Project Management Unit (PMU) with engineering background who will monitor each case with the help of concerned RTO and ensure that the subsidy granted is utilized properly for delivery of the boat in time. The cost of service provided by PMU will be met from the fund of Administrative & Office Expenses referred under clause (d) of para 10. The Jaladhara-Facilitator will deliver the vessel to the applicant along with all necessary technical and registration documents, after receipt of the amount of the total project cost, which is made available to the Boatbuilder partly by the applicant, (both as down-payment and as subsidy), partly by the financier (as loan amount, if any). After handing over of the new boat, he shall send necessary information to WBTIDCL, IWTD and concerned RTO positively, within 7 days.

WBTIDCL with the help of PMU will monitor each case and ensure refund of subsidy by the Facilitator to WBTIDCL in case subsidy is not utilized for manufacturing of the boat by the facilitator within 30 days from the date of release of subsidy.

14. Role of Inland Water Transport Directorate:

A. Authorizing and monitoring Jaladhara-Facilitators:

a) On receipt of a case from WBTIDCL for approval as Jaladhara-Facilitator of any boatbuilder, the IWTD will verify all related documents and inspect the workshop to ensure expertise and technical ability of building vessels as per approved design and specifications at his own premises and accordingly issue certificate of recommendation to act as ‘Jaladhara-Facilitator’ to the Boat-builder.

b) IWTD will notify the maximum price and specify time limit for completion for any specific model of vessel, excluding all taxes and charges for registration, other fees payable to the Government etc., to be accepted under the Scheme and also specify the maximum time limit required for construction of various types of such mechanized boats by way of issuance of necessary order in this regard.

c) IWTD will monitor the activities of any Jaladhara-Facilitator from time to time and take report on progress of building of vessel(s) already approved under the scheme to ensure delivery within the time-frame in terms of the agreement entered with the applicant.

d) In case of reporting of any misconduct or not following the approved design and specifications by the Jaladhara-Facilitator or if any of his activities is found to be in contravention of this Resolution, IWTD may suspend or cancel the certificate of authorization.

B. As recommending authority for the Scheme (Disposal of application and recommendation for subsidy):

On receipt of recommended application from the concerned RTA, the IWTD will:

a) Verify the design of the boat proposed to be purchased with approved model and all technical specifications, the credentials of the boat-builder and the price of the boat and finally recommend the case within 7 (seven) days to WBTIDCL along with a copy of the application and documents for sanction of subsidy amount under the scheme by WBTIDCL. Copies of such letter will also be endorsed to the concerned RTA for information;

b) keep records of the applications so recommended under the Scheme;

c) In case the case is not recommended it will be returned to RTA concerned with reasons to be recorded in writing; Copy of such communication is to be endorsed to the concerned Jaladhara-Facilitator, Financier and the applicant for information.

15. Training of boatmen (sareng, engine-drivers etc):

a) IWTD/WBTIDCL or its authorized institute/agency will prepare a module of training of the experienced boatmen (sareng, engine-drivers etc.) of the existing Bhutbhutis, which are sanctioned under the scheme for replacement, for imparting training on operation of the new vessels/boats, its minimum repairing and maintenance in case of exigency, safety and security of the vessel/boat as well as the passengers and required first-aid skills. The module will cover both theoretical and practical training. Duration of the training will be of minimum 10 (ten) days.

b) On successful completion of the training as noted above, certificate of competence in terms of provision of the Inland Vessel Act, 1917 (as amended) will be issued to the boatmen by the appropriate authority.

c) IWTD/WBTIDCL will arrange training in batches in such a manner so that training of the boatmen of existing Bhutbhutis is completed before the new vessel/boat is made ready on replacement for sailing under the scheme.

d) WBTIDCL will meet the expenditure for conducting the training programme from the fund for Administrative and Office Expenses (A&OE).

16. Implementation and Monitoring the Scheme:-

a) WBTIDCL, IWTD and concerned RTA will monitor the implementation of the Scheme in a regular manner.

b) WBTIDCL will make necessary entry of every payment of subsidy in the ledger/ computer database maintained for this account.

c) WBTIDCL will also release necessary payment to the agency, to be selected for this purpose, for engagement of Jalasathis under this scheme and payment of contractual remuneration and other related charges, as applicable, out of the fund available under the Scheme.

d) WBTIDCL will submit necessary UC in prescribed format to Transport Department time to time and will submit with claim for further fund.

e) WBTIDCL will keep records of Physical and Financial progress respectively along with the particulars of defaulter beneficiary, if any.

f) WBTIDC and concerned RTO will monitor each case and verify that the subsidy amount released to the beneficiary account is utilized for delivery of vessel in time.

g) WBTIDC and RTO concerned will also monitor that the vessel delivered under the scheme is registered by IWTD. The registration number of the vessel is to noted in the records maintained at IWTD, WBTIDCL and concerned RTO.

h) WBTIDC & RTO concerned will ensure refund of the subsidy amount by the defaulter beneficiary, if any, to the Govt. Exchequer forthwith.

17. Notwithstanding anything above, it is generally notified that in situations, vessels and ghats where micro entrepreneurs/private sector entities are not readily forthcoming to avail of the opportunity and assistance by the Jaladhara scheme in the manner mentioned herein above, the State Government, through its different agencies, may directly procure (i.e. build or buy) and roll out safe and reliable water crafts of such designs and specifications that are technically approved by Inland Waterways Transport Director, Government of West Bengal. In case of such publicaly procured and rolled out vessels, the State Government may devise suitable procedures for placing such water crafts at the disposal of bodies/operators managing the ferry operations in the ferry ghats of the state.

The State Government in the Transport Department shall exercise overall control in the whole process of monitoring and implementation of the scheme and shall give such policy directions in this regard as and when considered necessary.

This is issued with the concurrence of the Finance Department vide their U.O. No. 0373 dated 26.05.2017 of Group ‘N’ and U.O. No. 1431 dated 07.06.2017 of Group ‘P2’ and U.O. No. 0052 dated 07.06.2017 of Group ‘R’ and further concurrence of Finance Department vide UO No: Group R/2017-18/0356 dated 09/02/2018.

By order of the Governor

Sd/- Additional Chief Secretary
to the Government of West Bengal

No. 689-WT dated 15.02.2018, Source