• Mon. May 23rd, 2022

Brahmaputra (NW2) gets connected with Ganga (NW1) via Indo Bangladesh Protocol Route

Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways and AYUSH, Sarbananda Sonowal received the maiden voyage  of food-grains from Patna to Pandu via Bangladesh in Guwahati today.  Chief Minister of Assam, Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma and MP of Lok Sabha for Guwahati, Queen Oja joined the celebration along with Sanjay Bandopadhyay, Chairma, Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI)  to welcome self propelled vessel MV Lal Bahadur Shastri carrying a total of 200 MT of foodgrains for Food Corporation of India (FCI) as it completed the maiden pilot run from Patna to Pandu via Bangladesh. IWAI is planning to run a fixed schedule sailing between NW1 and NW2 heralding a new age of inland water transport for Assam & the Northeast India.

The vessel started its sail from Patna on National Waterway-1 (river Ganga) and passed through Bhagalpur, Manihari, Sahibganj, Farakka, Tribeni, Kolkata, Haldia, Hemnagar; Indo Bangladesh Protocol (IBP) route through Khulna, Narayanganj, Sirajganj, Chilmari and National Waterway-2 through Dhubri, and Jogighopa covering a distance of 2,350 km. The dignitaries welcomed this wonderful beginning that has the potential to revolutionise cargo movement. Another vessel MV Ram Prasad Bismil with two barges Kalpana Chawla and APJ Abdul Kalam started voyage from Haldia on 17th Feb 22 and is on the way to Pandu. The vessel is carrying 1800MT Tata steel and already reached Bangladesh Border at Dhubri. The ODC (over Dimensional cargo, 252 MT) of Numaligarh Bio-refinery reached Silghat on 15th February from Haldia through IWT via IBP route. Another ODC (250MT) consignment is also on the way to Silghat.

Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister of Assam, Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma said, “The start of cargo movement through ships through Indo Bangladesh Protocol Route (IBRP) marks the beginning of a new age of economic prosperity for the whole region of Northeast. I am confident that the vision of our Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modiji and enterprise of our Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways, Shri Sarbananda Sonowal dangoriya will pave the way for growth & development of the inland water transport.”

In line with the “Act East” policy of Prime Minister, the Ministry of Ports, Shipping & Waterways (MoPSW), has taken up several infrastructure projects on National Waterways-1, Indo-Bangladesh Protocol route, and NW2, through the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI). These steps will improve the connectivity with North Eastern Region (NER) through waterways. The Government has undertaken the ambitious Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP) with an investment of about Rs. 4600 crore for the capacity augmentation of NW-1 (river Ganga) for safe and sustainable movement of vessels upto 2000 tonnes.
 

This historic feat will usher a new era of growth for all the states of Northeast India. The waterways will cut through the landlocked access which has been crippling development in the region for long. The waterways not only remove this geographical hindrance on the road of progress in the region but also provides an economical, swift and convenient transportation for the businesses and people of the region.

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