Prime Minister Narendra Modi will unveil the foundation stone for a ship repair facility at Pandu Multi Modal terminal.
The Ship Repair Facility — also known as the Slipway — is located at Pandu port on the southern bank of river Brahmaputra, National Waterway (NW)–2, in Guwahati in the state of Assam.
The facility, which will be the first in the north-east region of the country, will fulfil the repair and maintenance requirement of vessels plying on NW-2.
The facility will cater to the repair of inland waterway vessels from the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), Government of Assam, Indian Army and other private operators plying on NW-2 and NW-16 (Barak River).
Development of ship repair facility at Pandu is beneficial since North Eastern Region (NER) does not have any vessel repair facility with dry docking. At present, the vessels in the NER are taken to Kolkata, through Bangladesh, for dry dock repair.
The haulage to Kolkata for repairs involves travel over a distance of 2,500 km and 35-40 days voyage period which is extremely costly, inconvenient and time-consuming exercise.
The ship repair facility at Pandu Port will enable repair/dry docking of inland vessels of North Eastern states in the region itself, at less cost and better time management than before. This shall also create a new source of employment for the local people.
The state government of Assam operates a repair centre but does not have dry-dock facility. Dry docking of vessel is required for carrying out repairing of bottom hull and stern gear unit.
Dry dock is a structured area wherein construction, repairs and maintenance of merchant vessels and boats are carried out. This unique construction or arrangement allows the water to be filled up in an area, also known as a lock, so that vessels can be maneuvered in and out of the area.
Establishment of a ship repair facility at Pandu is one of the components of the project, for development of NW-2 at a cost of Rs 461 crore during 2020-21 to 2024-25.
Pursuant to this, the Inland Waterways Authority of India in August 2021 signed a MoU with Hooghly Cochin Shipyard Ltd. for setting up a new ‘Ship Repair Facility’ at Pandu in Guwahati.
The technical support for the facility is being provided by IIT Madras and will be developed on 3.67-acre plot provided by government of Assam and is expected to be completed by August 2023.
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