Modi launches inland waterways, lays foundation stone of bridges in Assam

New Delhi, Feb 18 (UNI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday launched ‘Mahabahu-Brahmaputra’, a waterway transport initiative and laid the foundation stone of two bridges in poll-bound Assam.

Mr Modi inaugurated the Ro-Pax vessel operations between Neamati-Majuli Island, North Guwahati-South Guwahati and Dhubri-Hatsingimar, laid the foundation stone of Inland Water Transport (IWT) Terminal at Jogighopa and various tourist jetties on River Brahmaputra and launched digital solutions for Ease-of-Doing-Business, an official release said.

Talking about the ‘Mahabahu-Brahmaputra’ programme, Mr Modi said that this will strengthen water connectivity by Brahampurta water through port-led development.

The Prime Minister said not so much work related to connectivity on Brahmaputra has been done earlier and due to this reason connectivity within Assam and in other areas of the North East has always been a major challenge.

Mr Modi said many bridges like Dr Bhupen Hazarika Setu, Bogibeel, Saraighat are making the life of Assam easier today and also strengthens the security of the country and provides great convenience for soldiers.

Majuli has got Assam’s first helipad and long pending demand with a eight-km-long bridge connecting Kalibari with Jorhat.

Similarly, the 19-km-long bridge from Dhubari to Fulbaari in Meghalaya will improve connectivity in Barak Valley and will reduce distance between Megahalaya, Manipur, Mizoram and Assam. Mr Modi pointed out that today, the distance between Megahalaya and Assam is about 250 km by road; it will be reduced to just 19-20 km.

Mr Modi claimed that neglect of connectivity over the years have deprived the state of its prosperity. The Infrastructure deteriorated and waterways almost got finished, which, the Prime Minister claimed led to unrest.

The course correction started during the time of the former Prime Minister late Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Mr Modi claimed. In recent years, steps were taken to re-establish multi-modal connectivity in Assam. Ëfforts are on to make Assam and the NorthEast the hub of our cultural and business relations with other East Asian countries.

He said recently an agreement with Bangladesh to improve water connectivity has been made and Work is underway on the Indo-Bangladesh protocol route across the Hooghly river to connect the Brahmaputra and the Barak river.

Jogighopa IWT Terminal will strengthen an alternative route to connect Assam with Haldia Port and Kolkata through a waterway. Bhutan and Bangladesh cargoes at this terminal and cargoes at Jogighopa Multi-modal logistics park would get facilities for movement to different places on the Brahmaputra river.

He said Ro-pax service between Majuli and Nemati is one such route which would reduce the distance from about 425 km to just 12 km. On this path two ships are operated which would transport about 1600 passengers and dozens of vehicles at one go. He said a similar facility launched in Guwahati would reduce the distance between North and South Guwahati from 40 km to 3 km.

The Car-D portal will help in collating real-time information on all the cargo and cruise traffic data of the National Waterway. It will also provide information related to the infrastructure of Waterway. He added that GIS based India Map Portal, would help those who want to come here for business.

He announced that with the investment of hundreds of crores of rupees, the first data center of North East in Guwahati is going to be built. This data center will serve as a data center hub for eight states and the IT service based industry, BPO ecosystem and start ups in the North East including Assam would be strengthened through e-governance.


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