Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways lays down foundation stone of Inland Waterways Transport Terminal at a cost of ₹46.60 crores at Bogibeel, Dibrugarh
Shri Sonowal terms this as a major initiative towards rejuvenating inland waterways in Assam
Dibrugarh to reclaim its glory as a hub of inland waterways transport with Bogibeel Terminal, assures Shri Sarbananda Sonowal
The Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways and Ayush, Shri Sarbananda Sonowal laid the foundation stone of Inland Waterways Transport (IWT) terminal to be developed at Bogibeel in Dibrugarh, by the bank of the River Brahmaputra (National Waterways 2) in Dibrugarh, Assam today. The tourist-cum-cargo IWT terminal will be developed at a cost of ₹46.60 crores and is scheduled to be completed by February, 2024. Once developed, this terminal is likely to play a pivotal role in rejuvenating inland waterways transportation in the region for both cargo and passenger movement, paving the way for growth of trade & commerce.
Speaking on the occasion, Shri Sarbananda Sonowal said, “It is a momentous day for the people of Assam as we move towards rejuvenating inland waterways transport in the region by further bolstering the capital infrastructure at Bogibeel. The new jetty will help us realise the vision set by the Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi ji towards enablement of waterways transportation as a transformational factor. We must respect & honour the immense potential that ‘Mahabahu Brahmaputra’ possesses, and utilise them in the best possible way to further efficient development & progress without alluding to any ecological or economic cost. Given the historic role that Dibrugarh played as the hub of inland waterways in the past, I believe that this modern terminal at Bogibeel will act as a catalyst towards reclaiming the lost glory of Dibrugarh as a major commercial hub & become harbinger of growth for upper Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland in the days to come.”
The IWT terminal, under the aegis of Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), the nodal agency for inland waterways of Ministry of Ports, Shipping & Waterways (MoPSW), will have many modern features. The executing agency of the terminal is being done by Indian Port Rail & Ropeway Construction Limited. Some major features include cargo & passenger berths, approach & other internal roads, transit shed, open storage area, truck parking area, passenger waiting area among others. The development of the terminal will play a crucial role in the development of upper Assam and nearby states such as Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland in terms of cargo as well as passenger transportation. It will also lead to increase in eco-tourism, and easing the movement of EXIM cargo with comparatively lower transportation cost vis-a-vis others.
Considering the growing popularity of inland waterways as an economical & efficient mode of transportation, other new industries like food processing, pharmaceuticals, cement etc may come up in the region while further improving the economies of scale for existing major trade like tea, polymer, coal, fertiliser etc. The modern terminal is also likely to play a crucial role as a harbinger of growth for the tourism sector with major destinations like Sibsagar, Majuli, Itanagar, Ziro Valley, Pasighat, Roing, Tawang valley etc.
Under the Prime Minister’s “Act East Policy”, MoPSW and IWAI has been making transformational changes in the Waterways sector in India over the last 9 years. These measures have led to exceptionally remarkable changes in the country. To development Waterways in the North Eastern Region, IWAI has been making all efforts to maintain the fairway in river Brahmaputra by dredging and other river conservancy works. Navigational aids and night navigation system are also provided in the river up to Silghat. Permanent Terminals have been developed at Pandu and Dhubri. During last two years, Dhubri Terminal has been extensively useful and 385 cargo vessels have moved from Dhubri to Bangladesh. To utilize Pandu Terminal effectively, an alternate road connecting Pandu terminal with NH-27 at a project cost of Rs. 180 Cr. Is underway.
The construction of the Bogibeel IWT, will enhance industrial growth leading to further requirements of transportation needs. It will add to the socio-economic development of not only Assam but the entire North Eastern zone as a whole.
The event was also attended by Union Minister of State for Petroleum & Natural Gas and Labour & Employment, Shri Rameshwar Teli, Minister of Panchayat & Rural Development, Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs, General Administration, Govt of Assam, Shri Ranjeet Kumar Das, Minister of Transport, Excise & Fisheries, Govt of Assam, Shri Parimal Suklabaidya, Minister of Industries & Commerce and Public Enterprises and Cultural Affairs, Govt of Assam, Shri Bimal Bora; Minister of Tea Tribes Welfare & Labour Welfare Department, Govt of Assam, Shri Sanjay Kisan, Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha), Shri Pradan Baruah, Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) of Dibrugarh, Shri Prasanta Phukan among other dignitaries & guests.
The Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways (MoPSW) is committed towards developing Inland Waterways. An MoU to develop ‘Riverine based tourism Circuit’ was signed between Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), Sagarmala Development Company Limited (SDCL), Assam Tourism Development Corporation Limited (ATDC) and Directorate of Inland Water Transport (DIWT) Assam in Guwahati. This Sagarmala project will connect the seven historic temples namely Kamakhya, Pandunath, Ashwaklanta, Doul Govinda, Umananda, Chakreshwar and Auniati Satra situated in Guwahati. The circuit will sail from Hanuman Ghat, Uzan Bazar and will complete its journey by covering all the above-mentioned temples through waterways. The ferry service is expected to reduce the overall travel time to less than 2 hours for completing one complete circuit.
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