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Monday, October 2, 2023

Northeast Got Projects Worth Rs 1700 Cr For Inland Waterways Development: Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal

Global Maritime India Summit, 2023 Slated To Be Held From Oct 17 To 19

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HT Bureau


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GUWAHATI, Aug 31:  Union Minister of ports, shipping and waterways (MoPSW) Sarbananda Sonowal said that projects worth Rs 1700 crore have been launched for development of Inland waterways in Northeast.

Sonowal said this while inaugurating the roadshow on Global Maritime India Summit, 2023 (GMIS) on Thursday.

GMIS 2023 is a premier maritime sector-focused event organised by the ministry of ports, shipping & waterways slated to be held from October 17 to 19 at Bharat Mandapam, New Delhi.

Notably projects worth Rs 474 crore for development of  River Brahmaputra (NW-2) was launched in 2020-21.  Sonowal said that significant allocations like Rs 208 crore for a ship repair facility at Pandu turns out to be a major boost. Additionally for the development of new national waterways like River Barak (NW-16) and the Indo-Bangladesh Protocol Route for Rs 148 crores has also been undertaken, he said.

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Sonowal further said that the inland waterways sector has received a tremendous boost of investment to the tune of Rs 5200 cr from the centre since 2014. He said that Rs 4634 investment backs Jalmarg Vikas, and the Arth Ganga projects.

“This is a significant jump of more than 200% in the amount of investment made by the government in a span of 9 years over investments made in the previous 28 years. This drives home the utmost urgency with which the inland waterways is being developed under the Modi government. This clean, efficient & economical mode of transportation will be pivotal in unlocking the economic potential of the hinterland of India. By investing in the inland waterways and empowering our rich and complex waterways system, we are in the process of creating a collaborative ecosystem for the industry that will foster greater cooperation among our neighbouring countries. This is going to unlock huge trade and commerce potential for all the countries as well as states of India in the south Asia region,” he said.

MoPSW secretary TK Ramachandra said that the ministry has identified 20 projects aimed at enhancing connectivity within the Northeast region.

“These projects encompass the modernisation of existing terminals, establishment of new terminals, improvement of first and last-mile connectivity, industrialisation, river ports, and skill development, among other initiatives. The work on the eastern waterways grid will revitalise economic position of the entire South Asian region including Myanmar, Malaysia and Thailand,” Ramachandra said.

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“The North-east is often referred as the unexplored paradise of our nation. This region is blessed with lush landscapes, vibrant cultures, rich biodiversity, and abundant rivers, which grants it the geographical advantage to leverage transformative solutions and foster increased collaboration with Asia Pacific nations,” he added.

Inland Waterway Authority of India (IWAI) chairman Sanjay Bandopadhyaya stated that as many 30.40 million tones of cargo has been transported through waterways in 2014-15 and that the authority has notched 315% growth rate since then.

“In a year that tested the resilience of global trade, the robust growth in cargo movement through our National Waterways is a testament to the effectiveness of our initiatives and the robustness of India’s inland waterways system,” he said.

The roadshow also featured addresses by international representatives, including Phurpa Tshering, vice consul, Royal Bhutanese Consulate General, Guwahati, who stressed the significance of a collective maritime vision, along with Ruhul Amin, assistant high commissioner of Bangladesh in Guwahati highlighted the pivotal role of regional cooperation in enhancing connectivity within the maritime domain. He also underscored some of the key port projects that will facilitate increased collaboration between India and Bangladesh. Mohammad Monowar Uz Zaman, joint secretary, Member (planning & operation), BIWTA also delivered remarks during the event.

The roadshow on Global Maritime India Summit, 2023 was also addressed by minister of transport, fisheries & excise department Parimal Suklabaidya, minister of industries & commerce and public enterprises, cultural affairs, Bimal Borah;  Arunachal minister for water resources Mama Natung;  Nagaland MLA & advisor (transport and technical education), Temjenmenba.

The roadshow at Guwahati is the fifth in a series of roadshows being organised by the Ministry as part of the run up to the main event of Global Maritime India Summit, 2023. Earlier, similar roadshows were organised in Kolkata, Mangalore, Vishakhapatanam and Goa. Following Guwahati, road shows are being planned at Chennai, Bhubaneswar, Varanasi, Kochi, Ahmedabad and Bangalore.

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The Hills Times
The Hills Timeshttps://www.thehillstimes.in/
The Hills Times, a largely circulated English daily published from Diphu and printed in Guwahati, having vast readership in hills districts of Assam, and neighbouring Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur.
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