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Sarbananda Sonowal Launches ₹308 Crore Waterway Development Projects in North East

Guwahati: In a significant boost to the development of waterways in the North East region, Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways, and Ayush, Sarbananda Sonowal, unveiled projects worth ₹308 crore today in Guwahati. Simultaneous events took place at various locations, including Bogibeel in Dibrugarh, Badarpur in Karimganj, IWAI port in Dhubri, and Sonamura in Tripura.

The ceremony witnessed the presence of esteemed dignitaries, including the Minister of Transport, Fisheries & Excise, Assam, Parimal Suklabaidya; the Minister of Health & Family Welfare, Information Technology, Assam, Keshab Mahanta; and the MP (Lok Sabha) for Guwahati, Queen Oja. Rameshwar Teli, Union Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Labour Employment, Govt of India, joined the program from Dibrugarh, and in Sonamura, Minister of Transport, Tourism, & Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs, Tripura, Sushanta Chowdhury, graced the occasion.

The inaugurated projects include a Passenger-cum-Cargo terminal at Bogibeel near Dibrugarh, an Inland Water Transport Terminal at Sonamura in Tripura, and upgraded terminals at Karimganj & Badarpur in Assam. These terminals are expected to play a crucial role in revitalizing Inland Water Transport (IWT) in the region, facilitating both cargo and passenger movement and fostering trade & commerce.

Shri Sonowal also laid foundation stones for the construction of a Custom Immigration Office in Dhubri and the compound wall for IWAI Jogighopa terminal. The Bogibeel terminal, developed with an investment of nearly ₹50 crore, includes cargo & passenger berths, transit shed, truck parking area, and passenger waiting area. It will contribute to eco-tourism and enhance trade opportunities for major sectors such as tea, polymer, coal, and fertilizers.

Addressing the gathering, Shri Sonowal stated, “Modi Ki Guarantee is powering the waterways of the North East towards Viksit Bharat. The terminals at Bogibeel will act as a catalyst for economic development, amplifying trade opportunities for upper Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. The Sonamura terminal in Tripura will further trans-boundary trade between India and Bangladesh. The Karimganj and Badarpur terminals will also power trade opportunities. These transformative projects, under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji, will mark a new era of connectivity and prosperity for the Northeast region.”

Among the additional initiatives, Shri Sonowal announced the deployment of 6 tourist jetties on National Waterways 2 (River Brahmaputra) and the deployment of 2 Electric Hybrid Catamarans in Guwahati. The Electric Catamarans, developed by Cochin Shipyard Limited at a cost of ₹36 crore, will enhance communication facilities in Guwahati, contributing to the economies of scale for trade and encouraging employment & economic growth.

The Minister also emphasized the initiation of dredging operations in the North East region by the Dredging Corporation of India. The dredging operations on rivers Brahmaputra (NW 2) and Barak (NW 16) will be done at a cost of ₹124 crore, ensuring constant and adequate draft for seamless cargo and passenger movement.

These developments align with the Modi government’s commitment to drive inclusive growth and development in the region, reflecting the ‘Act East’ policy. The Maritime Amrit Kaal Vision 2047 prioritizes the expansion of port infrastructure, and the Maritime India Vision aims to boost the share of Inland Water Transport (IWT) to 5% by 2030. The comprehensive efforts signify a transformative phase in the maritime sector, fostering connectivity enhancement and economic growth.

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