Kolkata: Marking a new chapter, the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) will transport container cargo belonging to food and beverage giant PepsiCo (India) from Kolkata to Varanasi on river Ganga (National Waterway-1).The country’s first container movement on inland vessel post Independence is scheduled on Tuesday October 30. Secretary (Shipping) of the union government Gopal Krishna along with Chairman, IWAI, Pravir Pandey, and other senior government officials will flag off the vessel carrying the consignment in presence of PepsiCo representatives from Kolkata. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life”It will prove to be another testament for waterways being the preferred transport modal choice among cargo owners owing to its cost effectiveness and environment friendliness,” a senior IWAI official said. The flag off will also coincide with IWAI’s first foray into Public Private Partnership (PPP) model when IWAI will hand over the operation and management of its terminals in Kolkata to M/s Summit Alliance Port East Gateway (India) Pvt Limited (SAPEL) on a supply, operate and maintain (SOM) model. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedAccording to an IWAI official, PepsiCo will move 16 containers — equivalent to 16 truckloads — filled with food and snacks in the vessel MV RN Tagore which will reach Varanasi in 9-10 days. The vessel will make its return journey with fertilisers belonging to IFFCO that will be procured from its Phulpur plant near Allahabad. Container cargo transport reduces the handling cost, allows easier modal shift, reduces pilferages and damage and enables cargo owners to reduce their carbon footprints.