GUWAHATI: The Directorate of Inland Water Transport, Assam (DIWTA) carried out the installation of marine engines on boats under the Jibondinga Scheme. Minister of Transport Parimal Suklabaidya also attended the event on Thursday. Six beneficiaries were given the marine engine and other safety gear to be retrofitted in their existing semi-mechanized country boats under this scheme.
Partha Pegu, Director, DIWT Assam; Rahul Chandra Das, Additional State Project Director of AIWTDS; and A. Selvakumar, Director of IWAI, were also present along with the minister. The minister mentioned the government’s commitment to providing safe, comfortable, and sustainable navigation for passengers and vessels across the state while talking at the event.
A considerable population of the state depends on semi-mechanized boats in order to meet their daily mobility needs, especially for people residing in isolated areas, but these vessels are mostly operated by private owners and associations and lack adequate technology for safe navigation across the state’s navigable waterways.
The Assam government implemented this scheme to upgrade the vessels at an incentivized rate to ensure the safety of the public in collaboration with the World Bank. The scheme aims to provide incentives (including financial, training, technical assistance, and insurance) to country boat operators by retrofitting existing vessels.
In its first phase, 368 marine engines were successfully installed across the districts of Nalbari, Barpeta, Darrang, Dhubri, South Salmara Mankachar, Goalpara, Bongaigaon, Sonitpur, Jorhat, Majuli, Dibrugarh, and Tinsukia. For its second phase, the Assam government has signed a contract with M/s Greaves Cotton Ltd. for providing another set of 378 marine engines, and installation of the same is currently under process.