The Central government is likely to undertake a Rs 3,000 crore project to further improve Assam’s water transportation in the Brahmaputra and Barak rivers to boost trade in the entire northeastern region and the neighbouring states, officials said on Thursday.
An official of Assam government said here that Union Minister of State for Ports, Shipping and Waterways Mansukh L. Mandaviya and Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Thursday held a discussion virtually to further improve water transports using the Brahmaputra and Barak rivers.
“During the discussion, the Union Minister shared a detailed framework of a nearly Rs 3,000 crore project for improving navigability, transportation, trade and commerce of the rivers Brahmaputra and Barak, the national waterways two and 16,” an official release said.
The release added that the move would improve institutional capacity and existing framework of water transportation in the Brahmaputra and Barak rivers to achieve scalable height in trade and commerce.
In the meeting, Sonowal reiterated the need of re-strengthening the existing transport facilities and utilising the optimum potential of the Brahmaputra and Barak rivers as the two rivers have served as the lifeline of trade and commerce as well as connectivity since the British period and provided connectivity with neighbouring countries.
Mandaviya said that true to the spirit of the Central government for the development of Assam and other northeastern states under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the multi-crore project would encompass all critical areas like development of multimodal logistic hubs with last-mile connectivity, passenger and cargo terminals, and construction of new jetties, among others.
Sonowal while assuring total cooperation from the Assam government, said once fully implemented, the entire 891 km stretch of the Brahmaputra from Sadiya to Dhubri, and Barak would receive new lease of life in providing gateways to neighbouring countries which would also catapult to the success of the ‘Act-East Policy’.
Assam’s Industries and Commerce and Transport Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary, Additional Chief Secretary to the Chief Minister Paban Kumar Borthakur, Commissioner and Secretary to Transport K.K. Dwivedi and senior officials of both the Central and state governments were present during the virtual meeting.