Guwahati: Union Minister of Ports, Navigation and Waterways and AYUSH, Sarbananda Sonowal hopes freighters will start to sail over the Brahmaputra towards the end of 2022.
Sonowal said on Sunday that dredging work at critical points in the river had already been started by the ministry.
“The government of Bangladesh, with the support of the government of India, is also working on the Jamuna River to make the 2,000 km long waterway from Sadiya to Haldia via Bangladesh a smooth passage,” Sonowal said.
Sharing the vision of Prime Minister Gati Shakti’s vision, the minister said that the northeast region will play a vital role in resuscitating India’s economic prosperity.
“In order to provide a springboard for the region to act as a catalyst in India’s economic recovery, efforts have been made to build the region’s waterways and connect it to major ports in the Bay of Bengal. This will not only unleash the economic potential of the region, but allow the landlocked region direct access to international trade routes, ”Sonowal said.
The minister said the government is working tirelessly to connect Mizoram, Tripura and Assam with strategic ports in Myanmar (Sittwe port) and Bangladesh (Mongola and Chittonong ports).
In order to integrate the expertise of the northeast to make dredging a sustainable and economically viable proposition, the Minister also indicated that the support of experts from Tezpur University, IIT Guwahati and IIM Shillong will be crucial.
“The potential of the Brahmaputra as well as other rivers in the northeast is enormous and people will directly benefit from the development of river tourism, freight transport and alternative economic transport,” Sonowal said.
The government’s Jal Marg Vikas project aims to ensure optimal and holistic development of the region by rejuvenating rivers as a viable and sustainable economic proposition.
(Report by Hemanta Kumar Nath)