India’s north-eastern states of Assam and Meghalaya will soon be connected by a new 19 km long bridge over the Brahmaputra river. Lorho S. Pfoze Member of Parliament from Manipur asked the government whether they are developing any inland waterways with suitable ports in North East India along the river Brahmaputra.
In a reply, the union government told Parliament that “Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) an autonomous organisation under the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways (MoPSW) has taken up development of National Waterway -2 (NW-2) i.e. River Brahmaputra from Dhubri to Sadiya (891 km).
The waterway is maintained with a navigable fairway, day navigation marks in entire 891 km stretch and night navigational aids in Dhubri-Silghat (440 km) stretch. A multimodal (MMT) river port at Pandu with road and rail connectivity and another permanent terminal at Dhubri has been constructed. 11 nos. of floating terminals are also provided on NW-2.
Construction of a new terminal at Jogighopa has been taken up and construction of a cargo cum tourist terminal at Bogibeel (Dibrugarh) has also been approved.
According to a statement by the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, to improve shipping, two stretches of the India-Bangladesh Protocol Routes – Sirajganj-Daikhowa and Ashuganj-Zakiganj – are being developed at a cost of Rs. 305.84 crore and the development of these stretches is expected to provide seamless navigation to North East India through the Indo-Bangladesh Protocol route.
The country’s first multimodal logistics park is also being developed at Jogighopa, Assam, with the first phase expected to be completed by 2023.
The proposal for the development of Kopili river (National Waterway-57) and Dhansiri river (National Waterway-31) has been approved. Further development of the Barak River (121 km) (National Waterway-16) has been done by IWAI. Major activities include proper route development, upgradation of terminals at Badarpur and Karimganj, navigational aids etc.