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Dredging of Brahmaputra from Sadia to Dhubri not viable : IWAI

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  23 May 2017 12:00 AM GMT


Guwahati, May 22 Inland waterways Authority of India (IWAI) on Monday claimed that the Brahmaputra tiol Waterways -II has adequate depth to ensure smooth flow of the existing vessels of the department.

The IWAI said the tiol Waterways-II will be dredged on the basis of ‘definite proposals’ only. The tiol Waterways–II or NH-2 is a stretch of 891 km from Sadia to Dhubri that connects the Northeast with Bengal through the Indo-Bangladesh Protocol route.

“It will not be viable to dredge the entire stretch of the NH-2 giving the fact dredging is time as well money consuming process. The Brahmaputra has enough deep channels through which the existing vessels can travel and carry cargoes. Dredging, however, will be done on the basis of definite proposals for certain big consignments or barge containers,” Nutan Guha Biswas, chairperson of IWAI said.

Biswas, who was here to chair a semir on ‘tiol Waterway – A Gateway in the North East’, told reporters here on Monday morning that the IWAI would start dredging in the tributaries and small channels in the tributaries of the Brahmaputra for the commute of small crafts within the region. These short distance crafts will carry goods, civilians and even jawans within the region seamlessly, she said.

Officials of the Inland Water Transport, Assam who were present in the Monday’s semir, however, said the stretch of Sadia to Dhubri is not commutable.

“Small freights and small vessels can travel in the short distance. But goods carrying big containers cannot travel the stretch. For that, dredging is required,” Bharat Bhushan Dev Choudhury, director of IWT, Assam said.

Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, during his visit to Assam last month, announced Rs 250 crore for dredging of the mighty Brahmaputra River from Sadiya in Assam to Bangladesh to have direct access from Haldia port of Bengal to Chittagong port of Bangladesh.

Assam Chief Minister Sarbanda Sonowal had a meeting with the IWAI chief Biswas and asked the latter to streamline the last minute preparations along with all the line departments for carrying out dredging in the Brahmaputra.

“Waterways can connect those areas of the region which are not connected through roadways and railways. To do so, the department will take all the necessary steps to create enough infrastructures from building of more termils, jetties and providing more vessels. In order to do so, the state IWTs need to be stronger,"Biswas said.

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