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The Hindu
The Hindu
The Hindu Bureau

Sonowal launches several inland waterways projects in Assam, Tripura


Minister of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways, Sarbananda Sonowal on Tuesday unveiled several projects together worth an estimated ₹308 crore to boost inland waterways in northeast India.

The projects included a passenger-cargo terminal at Bogibeel near Dibrugarh in eastern Assam, an inland water transport terminal at Sonamura in Tripura, and upgraded terminals at Karimganj and Badarpur in southern Assam.

Mr. Sonowal also laid the foundation stones for the construction of a Customs immigration office at a terminal in western Assam’s Jogighopa besides announcing the deployment of six tourist jetties on the Brahmaputra river (National Waterway 2) and two electric hybrid catamarans in Guwahati by August.


“The terminal at Bogibeel will act as a catalyst of economic development for the region, further amplifying trade opportunities for eastern Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. The Sonamura terminal in Tripura will further trans-boundary trade between India and Bangladesh,” he said at an official programme at Pandu Port in Guwahati.

The event was held simultaneously at Bogibeel, Badarpur, Dhubri, and Sonamura.

“All these projects, including the Karimganj and Badarpur terminals, will go a long way towards realising the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to make the northeast the powerhouse of India’s growth,” Mr. Sonowal said.

The Union Minister pointed out that the economy of the northeast was dependent largely on inland water transport before India’s Independence. Apart from the losing access to the seaports, the rivers became shallow over the years due to siltation.

“The Dredging Corporation of India will soon commence dredging operations in the region to power our waterways,” he said, adding that dredging would make the rivers navigable even during the dry months.

Mr. Sonowal further said 19 passenger vessels would be provided for the rivers Brahmaputra and Barak (National Waterway 16), and two pontoon terminals would be constructed on the Brahmaputra at a cost of ₹25 crore.

The electric catamarans, developed by the Cochin Shipyard Limited, are expected to enhance passenger transport on the Brahmaputra apart from “improving the economics of scale for existing trade in coal, stone chips, polymer, and fertiliser through the Indo-Bangladesh Protocol Route and from Bhutan”.

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