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Shri Nitin Gadkari flag off regular cargo transportation through NW 2 on River Brahmaputra

Shri Nitin Gadkari to flag off regular cargo transportation through NW 2 on River Brahmaputra

Shri Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister of Shipping, Road Transport & Highways, and Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation flag off the first movement of cement cargo through National Waterway (NW) 2 on River Brahmaputra in Assam tomorrow,  under the Shipping Ministry’s flagship programme Sagarmala. He will also lay the foundation stone for bank protection work of Majuli Island tomorrow. Assam Chief minister Shri Sarbananda Sonowal, was also present on the occasion.

Marking a new milestone towards Government of India’s constant endeavors to promote economically more viable and environment friendly modes of transport in the country, two barges of 200 metric ton capacity each, will carry 400 tonnes of cement from the Inland Waterways Authority of India’s Pandu Port to Dhubri covering a distance of 255 kilometers. With this, IWAI will be initiating regular cargo movement through inland waterways under the Sagarmala programme.

Transportation of cargo through NW 2 from Pandu to Dhubri will help save 150,000 tonne km of road transportation per trip and 300 km of road travel while reducing the logistics costs. Notably, where one Horse Power can move 150 kg on road and 500 kg on rail, it can move 4000 kg on waterways. Further, while one litre fuel can move 24 ton per km on road and 85 ton per km on rails, the same amount of fuel can move 105 ton per km on waterways. In addition, the infrastructural development for Inland Water Transport (IWT) requires minimal land as compared to road and rail.

IWAI will charge only Rs 318 per ton as waterway transportation charges from Pandu to Dhubri/Hatsingimari to enthuse entrepreneurs and logistic operators to shift to the cost effective and eco-friendly mode of transportation that also reduces congestion on road. IWAI has been working closely with major cement firms like Dalmia, Star and Amrit and appreciates interest shown by them in cargo movement through waterways. Efforts are on to get other cargo owners to shift their transportation to waterways as this can be a key enabler for reduction of logistics cost and open up more business & employment opportunities.

The Ministry of Shipping has been making focused efforts to:

  • Connect north east region to Kolkata, Haldia, Mongla and Chittagong ports
  • Provide efficient logistics in North |East region
  • Set up Roll on- Roll off services across River banks
  • Facilitate movement for armed forces

Development at Brahmaputra River (NW2) for commercial navigation

Pandu, due to its geographical location, is one of the key terminals on NW2. Both high & low level RCC jetties have been constructed for round the year loading and unloading of cargo and railway BG siding. The port has been developed as a multi-modal modern Inland Water Transport Terminal, equipped with cargo handling facilities, transit sheds, and appropriate open space facilities/hard stands.

Regular works of maintenance of a navigable fairway of 45 meter width and 2.5 meter least available depth (LAD) from Bangladesh Border to Neamati (629km), 2.0m LAD from Neamati to Dibrugarh (139km) and 1.5 meter LAD from Dibrugarh to Sadiya (123km)/Oriumghat (92km) have been carried out during 2016-17, with the help of river conservancy work and dredging with 3 departmental dredgers.  The entire channel on NW 2 has been marked with day navigation marks. Night navigational facilities comprising of solar operated lights on beacon have been provided and maintained between Bangladesh Border and Silghat (440km), which is the last Port of Call on the Protocol route connecting Assam with Kolkata/ Haldia through Bangladesh.

Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS) stations have been provided at four locations viz. Dhubri, Jogighopa, Biswanthghat and Dibrugarh for safe navigation of vessels with electronic charts. Floating terminal facilities have been provided at 12 important identified locations viz. Hatsingimari, Dhubri, Jogighopa, Pandu, Tezpur, Silghat, Biswanathghat, Neamati, Sengajan, Bogibil, Dibrugarh/Oakland and Oriumghat which will be increased as per location needs.

There has been a renewed focus in the last three years to promote IWT in North East Region (NER). Of the 106 new National Waterways that were notified in April 2016, under the National Waterways Act, 2016, 19 are in NER.  Some of these are NW-16 (river Barak), NW-95 (river Subansiri), NW-39 (river Ganol), NW-93 (river Simsang), NW-101 (river Tizu and Zungki), NW-31 (Dhansiri), NW-62 (river Lohit), NW-106 (river Umngot), NW-18 (river Beki), among others.

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