Agartala, Dec 02 (UNI) The Northeastern Council (NEC) has initiated the proposals to enhance the vessel operation further between Kolkata and riverine points of Northeast.
According to official reports, the NEC had recently urged the Ministry of Inland Water Transport (IWT) to take an initiative to offer a shorter and cheaper route for transportation of bulk commodities and project cargo.
The proposal also underlined that development of water transport in the region was a strategic and economic imperative, which would increase investments and efficiency.
The Brahmaputra river from Dhubri to Sadiya (891 km) was declared as National Waterway-II in 1988, while Declaration of Barak River from Lakhipur to Bhanga (121 km) in Assam as National Waterway VI was under process.
Officials said the Ministry of Shipping/IWAI administers a cent per cent Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) for development of feeder routes by states to NW-II and other rivers.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had commissioned a study through RITES on feasibility of the multi-modal Kaladan River route from Mizoram to Sittwe port in Myanmar and then by sea to Kolkata port.
Meanwhile, IWAI had taken up river conservancy works (Rs 12.30 crore) targetted for completion by March, next year.
The maintenance of floating terminals (Rs 1.96 crore) at Dhubri, Jogighopa, Pandu, Tezpur, Silghat, Jamguri, Neamati, Bogibeel, Saikhowa and Sadiya.
The works for coal handling terminal (Rs 5.30 crore) at Jogighopa, night navigational aids (Rs 1.28 crore) from Dhubri to Pandu, 24 hours navigation facilities including setting up of DGPS Stations (Rs 18.77 crore) at Jogighopa, Tezpur and Dibrugarh and construction of permanent terminal (Rs 67.74 crore) at Pandu, had been taken up by the Centre.
Meanwhile, the state government had Centre to declare that Ashuganj in Bangladesh as a Port-of-Call and suggested expeditious persuasion of Bangladesh and sought IWAI's assistance for carrying out the survey of river Gumti to assess its navigation feasibility.