With the aim to ramp up capacity in Pandu port in Guwahati, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will unveil the foundation stones for of Ship Repair Facility and inaugurate Maritime Skill Centre for Northeast on January 13.
Union Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Sarbananda Sonowal on Monday announced major initiatives planned for Assam by the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways this year for the development of inland waterways in Guwahati.
Prime Minister will also lay the foundation of an elevated road connecting the MultiModal Terminal at Pandu with National Highway 27 in Guwahati. The facilities are part of major initiatives planned by the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways for revamping inland waterways in Assam and the Northeast.
According to the Ministry, the Ship Repair facility at the Pandu Terminal will save time and money. The facility will cater for the repair of vessels of IWT, Government of Assam, IWAI, Indian Army and other private operators plying in NW-2 and 16. The dedicated road connecting the Pandu Terminal with the NH27 will enable 24-hour smooth and swift connectivity making a sound business proposition for cargo operators.
The Maritime Skill Centre for Northeast will be instrumental in honing our rich talent pool and acquiring much-valued skill sets by the candidates for better employment opportunities in the bourgeoning logistics industry, added the Ministry statement.
Sonowal also announced an investment of Rs 1,016 crore for the development of inland waterways in Assam for the forthcoming years. A comprehensive package to develop Brahmaputra (NW2) has now been enhanced to Rs 474 crore as well as an enhanced package of Rs 148 crore has been earmarked for the development of Barak river (NW 16) recently.
The Ministry also approved the development of Dhansiri river (NW 31) and Kopili river (NW 57). Highlighting the success of the rejuvenated waterways as an alternative conduit of logistics under the Modi government, the cargo movement in Indo Bangladesh Protocol Route (IBPR) has increased from 2.00 MT in 2014-15 to 5.43 MT in 2021-22, Sonowal said.
Speaking on the occasion, Sonowal said, “Under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, our Ministry has taken up major initiatives to power the waterways of the region in order to convert them as the avenues of economic progress, development and growth of the region. Be it the cargo or passenger movement via waterways, we are planning and executing policies to build capacity in the region.”
Sharing views on the scheduled launch of Ganga Vilas world’s largest river cruise from Varanasi to Dibrugarh, Union Minister said, “Ganga Vilas will open up a new vista for tourism in the country. As the cruise will spend more than ten days in Assam, the foreign tourists will be able to explore and experience a new horizon of socio-cultural hue along the river coast.”
From Dhubri to Dibrugarh and from Mayong to Majuli, this cruise has curated an interesting journey where the natural beauty of Assam will be relished, he said.
The Ganga Vilas will stop at Dhubri, Goalpara (Jogighopa), Guwahati (Pandu), Pobitora, Tezpur, Silghat, Nemati Ghat before anchoring at Dibrugarh (Bogibeel) in the state.