Assam: Sarbananda Sonowal launches major projects for development of waterways

Unveils projects worth ₹308 crores for North East India.

GUWAHATI-   The Union Minister of Ports,  Shipping & Waterways and Ayush, Sarbananda Sonowal launched  major push for the development of waterways with unveiling projects worth of ₹308 crores for North East region here today. The event was simultaneously held at Bogibeel in Dibrugarh, Badarpur in Karimganj, IWAI port in Dhubri as well as Sonamura in Tripura.

Sarbananda Sonowal inaugurated Passenger-cum-Cargo terminal at Bogibeel near Dibrugarh, Inland Water Transport Terminal at Sonamura in Tripura and upgraded terminals at Karimganj & Badarpur in Assam here today. This terminal will play a pivotal role in rejuvenating IWT in the region for both cargo and passenger movement, paving the way for growth of trade & commerce.

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The Ports, Shipping & Waterways Minister also laid foundation stones for construction of Custom Immigration Office in Dhubri as well as construction of the compound wall for IWAI Jogighopa terminal.

The newly inaugurated Bogibeel terminal is being built with an investment of nearly ₹50 crores. This project includes cargo & passenger berths, approach & other internal roads, transit shed, open storage area, truck parking area, passenger waiting area. It will also lead to increase in eco-tourism as well as improve the economies of scale for existing major trade like tea, polymer, coal, fertiliser among others. The length of this terminal will be extended to 100 metres and the construction will start immediately. An integrated officer for Immigration, Customs & IWAI at Bogibeel is also being constructed at a cost of ₹18 Crores. A project for bank protection and Extension of jetty at Bogibeel Terminal at a cost of ₹12 Cr would also be initiated immediately.

The IWT terminal at Sonamura is developed with an investment of ₹6.91 crores. The upgraded terminals at Karimganj and Badarpur was completed with an investment of ₹6.40 crores. The IWT Terminal at Sonamura has the potential to attract trans-boundary trade including commodities like bagged cement, horticulture, consumer products and other local goods transported via road between India and Bangladesh.

The Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal also laid foundation stones for construction of Customs Immigration Office in Dhubri with an investment of ₹7.5 crores. The construction of boundary wall will also start at Jogighopa terminal in Goalpara, Assam. The wall for IWAI Jogighopa terminal, which is being built at a cost of ₹18 Crore, will secure the terminal. 6 Tourist jetties in NER at a cost of ₹8.45 Cr. at Jogighopa, Tejpur, Bishwanathghat, Neamati, Sadiya, Bindakota would also be constructed. Three of these has already been provided and rest of the three will be provided soon. This project is introduced to upgrade the existing infrastructure along NW-2 and recognising the huge potential for cargo, passenger transportation, riverine tourism.

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Two Electric Catamarans will be deployed in Guwahati by August, 2024. The Electric Catamarans, developed by Cochin Shipyard Limited at a cost of ₹36 Crores, will enhance communication facilities for the people of Guwahati. The 50 pax Electric Hybrid Catamaran will be used for cross river ferry and pilgrim tourism at Guwahati. 19 passenger vessels for NW-2 & NW-16 would be provided and two Pontoon Terminals on NW-2 would be constructed at a cost of ₹25 crores.

Announcing new major initiatives for the development of waterways in the region, the Union Minister, Sarbananda Sonowal, said, “It gives me immense pleasure to share with all of you that we have decided to deploy 6 tourist jetties on River Brahmaputra .

These transformative projects, under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will mark a new era of connectivity and prosperity for the Northeast region, furthering the ‘Act East’ policy of Modi government.

We have also adopted a Roadmap for River Cruise Tourism for developing multiple other routes for cruise tourism on other National Waterways. ₹45,000 Crores would be spent for development of River Cruise Tourism in the coming years. This shows the immense potential that rests in the 20,000 kilometers long and vibrant inland waterways of our country” He further informed.

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Under the Sagarmala program, aimed at the development of the North-Eastern states, projects exceeding ₹1,000 crores have been initiated, with a particular focus on enhancing inland waterways in Assam, where projects exceeding ₹760 crores are underway.

The Maritime Amrit Kaal Vision 2047 of the Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways (MoPSW) prioritizes the expansion of port infrastructure, including the development of six mega ports with capacities exceeding 300 and 500 million tonnes per annum (MTPA). Additionally, MoPSW aims to boost the share of Inland Water Transport (IWT) to 5% by 2030 as part of the Maritime India Vision (MIV), signaling a comprehensive effort towards fostering maritime sector growth and connectivity enhancement.


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