GUWAHATI, July 3: In a move to modernize the inland water transport in the state, Transport Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary held a meeting on the World Bank-aided project with representatives from World Bank at Janata Bhawan on Tuesday. The World Bank has initiated Rs 1000 crore aid for development of its water terminals, river front and jetties, a government communiqué said.
According to the communiqué, the meeting discussed the development of five port cities at Jogighopa, Neamatighat, Dibrugarh, Biswanath and Silchar. The ports will be a multi-modal hub with storage and cargo handling facilities.
The Minister asked the team to expedite the work and transform the plan into action. He said, ‘The river Brahmaputra, passing by the Guwahati city, is an asset for us. Proper development of the river front will benefit the tourism industry and help in increasing business and commerce manifold.’
He also underscored the necessity of introducing water taxis from city to airport via the Brahmaputra River for easy and faster mode of travel. The Minister also said that the development in this sector will facilitate fast, cost-effective and pollution-free transportation of goods, agro-products and passengers.
Referring to the state’s vibrant water transport system in pre-independence era, Minister Patowary said that the revival of this mode of transport will boost business and help the state in scaling new heights of economic success. During the meeting, Additional Chief Secretary Ravi Capoor also talked on the immense possibility of introducing cruise along the rivers adjoining the national parks of Kaziranga and Manas, the communiqué added.