Guwahati: The BJP led Union government in New Delhi has been working hard to make Northeast a growth engine to the country and the north-eastern region is taking speed on the path of development in the last seven years, commented Union ports, shipping & waterways and Ayush minister Sarbananda Sonowal while addressing the stakeholder conclave on waterways in the city on Friday.
The former chief minister of Assam, in his speech asserted that since 2014 Prime Minister Narendra Modi continues to work for the growth of the entire nation with a special focus on the region. Sonowal informed that the emphasis is now given on the waterway connectivity as a result Chittagong and Mongla ports become accessible to the land-locked region. He urged the stakeholders from different parts to take advantage of the conclave and to priorities the products.
It may be mentioned that the Centre is taking initiatives to promote river tourism and water sports along the mighty Brahmaputra rover. At least seven tentative locations like Oriumghat, Bhupen Hazarika setu, Koliabhomora bridge, Bogibeel bridge, Dikhow Mukh, Kalongmukh and Uzanbazar have been identified for developing tourist jetties.
Four tourist jetties at Jogighopa, Pandu, Neemati and Bishwanath ghat are already approved. In presence of State chief minister Himanata Biswa Sarma, Union minister Shantanu Thakur, State ministers Chandra Mohan Patowary and Pijush Hazarika with others, Sonowal expressed hope that the tourist-jetties will facilitate river cruise tourism and generate local employment.
IWAI-NRL agreement: As Numaligarh refinery limited (NRL) in eastern Assam is set embark on a major refinery expansion project to treble its existing refining capacity from 3 to 9 MMTPA, it has signed a memorandum of understanding with the inland waterways authority of India (IWAI ) on Thursday for transporting over-dimensional and over-weight cargo using the waterways.
Visiting Union minister Sarbananda Sonowal was present on the MoU signing function and commented that the new initiative will pave the way for making rivers navigable throughout the year by IWAI and assist in bringing large cargoes and capital equipment including single piece prefabricated process plants for the refinery expansion project.
“It will also open up trade and commerce activities as outward freight movement in large consignment to be possible from river Dhansiri, adjoining the refinery in near future and it would finally help extending our footprint to global export destinations,” said Sonowal, where IWAI north-eastern director P Srinivasan and NRL senior official AP Chakraborty signed the documents.
It may be mentioned that under the Hydrocarbon Vision 2030, the NRL has set to enhance its refining capacity to 9 MMTPA and as part of the project over 1,000 equipment, many of those falls under the category of over-dimensional consignment and also over-weight consignment, will be transported from across the country and abroad.
NRL intends to implement multimodal transportation through road and water ways to secure delivery of the equipment. Due to various limitations in road transportation, the sea and riverine routes will be leveraged to connect the major Indian ports to the north-eastern region. The waterways can also be used in future for shipping of dry cargo from the refinery and agricultural produce from the region.