GUWAHATI: The Union Government is seriously considering the feasibility of transforming the main rivers of Assam into national waterways. In this direction, the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) during the last two years already identified 13 rivers of the State for considering their upgradation. These 13 rivers have been named as ‘new national waterways’. Earlier, only the two main rivers, namely the Brahmaputra and the Barak were identified as National Waterway-2 and National Waterway-16 respectively.
Talking to ‘The Sentinel’ on Thursday, the Director of State Inland Waterways Transport Department (IWTD), Bharat Bhushan Dev Choudhury said, “The IWTD, through selected firms, is studying the feasibility reports of the selected rivers. The primary objective is to utilize the rivers as economical means of transportation. The detailed project reports (DPRs) of the feasible rivers would be prepared for making them navigable. The Government of India is extending all help in carrying out this project which is crucial for boosting transportation of man and goods in and across the State in particular and the region as a whole.”
The 13 waterways along with their lengths and locations as well as their present status are as follows:
The feasibility report of the 111-km Subansiri River (National Waterway-95) in Assam has been completed and its DPR is being prepared. On the other hand, the 100-km Lohit River (National Waterway-62) flowing in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh has been found to be technically not feasible.
Meanwhile, feasibility study reports have been completed with respect to the 110 km Dhansiri/Chathe River (National Waterway-31).
Field work has been completed and hydrographic survey reports have also been submitted to the central agency IWAI with respect to the following seven rivers flowing through Assam: the 71-km Aai River (National Waterway-6); 73-km Beki River (National Waterway-18); 114-km Dehing River (National Waterway-30); 63-km Dikhu River (National Waterway-32); 61-km Doyans River (National Waterway-33); 46-km Kopili River (National Waterway-46); and 72-km Puthimari River (National Waterway-82).
Similarly, field work has been completed and hydrographic survey reports have also been submitted to IWAI by concerned agencies with respect to the following three inter-State flowing rivers, namely the 86-km Tlwang (Dhaneswari) River (National Waterway-102) flowing through Assam and Mizoram; the 62-km Gangadhar River (National Waterway-38) flowing through Assam and West Bengal; and the 43-km Jinjiram River (National Waterway-50) flowing through Assam and Meghalaya.