The contracts for dredging on the two stretches for providing and maintaining requisite depth for a period of seven years (from 2019 to 2026) are underway.
Recently the Union minister for ports, shipping and waterways Sarbananda Sonowal flagged off the first cargo vessel of Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) from Patna to Pandu in Guwahati through rivers Ganga and Brahmaputra via Bangladesh, carrying 200 metric tonnes of food grains. In this event Piyush Goyal the Union minister for consumer affairs, food and public distribution also joined through the virtual mode in Patna from New Delhi. According to the report, the vessel will sail through the national waterways 1 of river Ganga and reach Pandu in Guawahati situated on the bank of Brahmaputra (national waterways 2) via Bangladesh under the Indo-Bangladesh Protocol (IBP) route.
It will take 25 days for the vessel, MV Lal Bahadur Shastri, to reach Pandu after covering a distance of 2,350 kilometres. The maiden operation of the cargo vessel would also establish technical and commercial viability of inland water transport route, connecting to north eastern region of the country.
It will take 25 days for the vessel, MV Lal Bahadur Shastri, to reach Pandu after covering a distance of 2,350 kilometres.
Sarbananda Sonowal said at the function in Patna â€œTraders of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Bangladesh would benefit from the operation of waterways as both Ganga and Brahmaputra have been connected.â€ The vessel will cross Bhagalpur, Manihari (in Bihar), Sahibganj (Jharkhand), Farakka, Tribeni, Kolkata, Haldia, Hemnagar (West Bengal) and Dhubri and Jogighopa in Assam. IWAI aims to run regular scheduled services on these routes.
The port and shipping minister also laid the foundation stone for construction of an intermodal terminal at Kalughat in Saran falling under national waterways 1, to be built at a cost of Rs. 78.28 crore and scheduled to be completed by the end of next year. The terminal located on the bank of Ganga will be constructed on 13.17 acres of land and is directly connected to NH 19. Union minister of state for forest environment Ashwini Choubey said â€œTo begin with, the Food Corporation of India (FCI) is sending its foodgrains to Guwahati. Other businessmen will use the convenient and cheapest mode of transport in days to comeâ€.
The terminal located on the bank of Ganga will be constructed on 13.17 acres of land and is directly connected to NH 19.
Further the Biharâ€™s deputy chief minister Tarkishore Prasad said that, â€œThe waterways intend to ease existing logistical bottlenecks and enhance connectivity among states. The project aims to bring prosperity and better working opportunities for the people of northeast India,â€ he said. Officials said that two stretches of IBP routes, i.e., Sirajganj-Daikhowa and Ashuganj-Zakiganj are also being developed at a cost ofÂ â‚¹305.84 crores on an 80:20 share basis. The development of these stretches is expected to provide seamless navigation to northeast region via the IBP route.
They further added that barging from Kolkata to Kalughat will lead to cost saving by up to 24% as compared to road and 4% as compared to rail when the return cargo is available. The terminal will provide boost to the regionâ€™s socio-economic development.
The development of these stretches is expected to provide seamless navigation to northeast region via the IBP route.