By Priti Naik
The Union Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal announced Rs 25 crore for dredging in the river Gomati for setting up altogether 10 jetties for better inland waterways connectivity. These new initiatives will boost international transportation between India and Bangladesh in the form of cargo vessel, passenger vessel and river cruise movement between the neighboring countries.
Announcing the latest development, the Union Minister said, “A memorandum of understanding has been signed between Tripura government, Inland Waterways Authority (IWT) and Land Port Authority of India (LPAI) for maintenance and development of Inland Waterways Terminal near Srimantapur. A total of ten jetties will be set up in the river Gomati under this project. Rs 25 crore has been sanctioned for the ambitious project that will facilitate movement of passenger vessels, cargo vessels and river cruises that has immense potential in terms of the tourism prospects.”
Briefing the media, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb said, “We have a 40 kms route starting from Sonamura to Udaipur where one the river Gomati where jetties will be set up in ten selected spots. On the other hand, the Indian government has agreed to release money for dredging another 40 kms route out of the total 90 kms that connects Sonamura with Daudkandi in Bangladesh”.
According to Deb, the central government will also assess feasibility of introducing waterway transportation in rivers like Deo and Howrah. “We have also discussed the possibilities of carrying out permanent dredging in rivers like Howrah and Deo to put a permanent end to the flood situation that emerges in the rainy season”, he added.
On the impact, Deb said, “If international waterway connectivity begins in full fledged, Tripura will be able to import transport materials like steel and cement at a very cheap price and in return export huge quantities of wheat to Bangladesh”.
Earlier, the Union Minister addressed a public meeting at Rabindra Satabarshiki Bhavan on the Budget 2022-23 and addressed a press conference at BJP state headquarters. In both the events, Sonowal highlighted how PM Modi laid special emphasis on the long-neglected North Eastern region and accorded respect to each and every North Eastern. He appreciated Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb for his efforts to bring a visible change in Tripura.