In a significant development for the inland waterways in North East India, the Dredging Corporation of India Limited (DCIL) has entered into an agreement with Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) for development and maintenance of fairways in various National Waterways (NW).
The projects have been contracted at an estimated cost of Rs 204.5 crore for an initial three-year period. The tenders for the proposed waterway projects were invited in 2022 by the IWAI.
The project involves development of fairway width of 32 m and depth of 2.5 m in waterways of North-Eastern Region. This will be executed by undertaking required dredging, bandalling, channel marking, river training and maintenance, to ensure secure navigation of vessels.
Under the contract, DCIL will undertake the required work on rivers Barak (NW-16), Dhansiri (NW-31), Kopili (NW-57) and Brahmaputra (NW-2).
The work will take place on the following stretches:
Dhansiri River (NW-31): Numaligarh jetty to Dhansiri confluence — 35 km
Barak River (NW-16): Bhanga to Badarpur —10.5 km
Kopili River (NW-57): Confluence at Brahmaputra to Kalongpar Bazar — 10 km
RO-Pax Routes along river Brahmaputra (NW-2), including: Dhubri-Hatsingimari/Fakirganj — 30 km; North Guwahati — 5 km and Neamati-Majuli (Kamalabari/Aphala) — 30 km
This advancement has come in following the announcement, regarding major initiatives planned this year for the development of inland waterways by the Union Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Sarbananda Sonowal, on 09 January 2023.
The Union Minister announced an investment of Rs 1,016 crore for the development of inland waterways in Assam for the forthcoming years.
A comprehensive package was announced for these four waterways, which includes increased funding of Rs 474 crore for the Brahmaputra River and Rs 148 crore designated for the development of the Barak River.
A total of Rs 233 crore was allocated for dredging these river systems.
The waterways in the North Eastern regions are primarily significant for improved accessibility and are seen as a means to open up opportunities for trade and services in the global market.
The progress of these projects will have major influence on various districts in Assam and also the adjoining states of Meghalaya, Tripura, Mizoram and Manipur.
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