June 19, 2024

Union minister Sonowal flagged off cargo ship to Pandu

Guwahati: Union ports, shipping & waterways minister Sarbananda Sonowal flagged off an inland waterway vessel named MV Lal Bahadur Shastri carrying 200 metric ton food grain which already started sailing to Pandu ghat in the city from Patna, the capital of Bihar. The cargo ship will travel via Bangladesh (IBP route) to reach the destination by early March after sailing through 2,350 km of waterways.
The vessel begins its journey on National Waterway – 1 (river Ganga) through Bhagalpur, Manihari, Sahibganj, Farakka, Tribeni, Kolkata, Haldia, Hemnagar to enter Indo Bangladesh Protocol (IBP) route through Khulna, Narayanganj, Sirajganj, Chilmari and finally it will reach National Waterway-2 (river Brahmaputra) through Dhubri and Jogighopa. It is expected to take about 25 days to cover the entire voyage.
“This historic feat will usher a new era of growth for all the north-eastern States. 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 but also provides an economical, swift and convenient transportation for the businesses and people of the region,” commented Sonowal.
In line with the Act East policy of the Centre inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Union ports, shipping & waterways ministry has taken up several infrastructure projects on NW-1, IBP route and NW-2, through Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI). This initiative is expected to improve the connectivity with NE through waterways. An ambitious Jal Marg Vikas Project with an investment of around rupees 4600 crore for the capacity augmentation of NW-1 for safe & sustainable movement of vessels has also been undertaken.
“This is not just a journey from Patna to Pandu but it is a journey of unfulfilled promises & aspirations to reach out to a wider world via waterways. Under the visionary leadership of PM Modi, the north-eastern region is no longer relegated but every effort is made to act & unlock the value that the Astalakshmi promises. We are confident that by restarting the cargo movement via waterways is going to play a pivotal role in energising it as an engine of growth,” added Sonowal.
Sonowal also laid the foundation stone for construction of Kalughat intermodal terminal at Saran area on NW-2 in presence of Union ministers Piyush Goyal, Ashwani Kumar Choubey and Shantanu Thakur along with Bihar deputy chief ministers Tarkishore Prasad and Renu Devi, State minister Mangal Pandey, Bangladesh minister Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury, Parliamentarians Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Sushil Kumar Modi and Ravi Shankar Prasad as well as other dignitaries and IWAI officials.

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