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Union Shipping Minister Gadkari flags off cargo movement on Brahmaputra

Prime News, National, Business, Majuli (Assam), December 29:- In a major boost to the inland waterway transport system in the North East, Union Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari today flagged off cargo movement on the Pandu-Dhubri route along the Brahmaputra. The Union minister also said that five bridges will be constructed on the river to ease transportation. The bridges will connect Jorhat with Nematighat, Disangmukh with Tekeliphuta, Louit with Khablu, Numaligarh with Gohpur and North Guwahati with Guwahati, he explained at the flagging-off ceremony at Majuli Island here.

“Another roll-on, roll-off (ro-ro)’ ferry service to transfer passengers and vehicles in large numbers will also start here soon,” the minister said. Stating that modern and well-equipped river ports will be established along the banks of the river, the minister said transportation of cargo through the National Waterway 2 – from Pandu in Guwahati to Dhubri along the Assam-Bengal border – will reduce logistics cost and save 300 km road travel. The 891-km stretch of Brahmaputra between Sadiya in the easternmost part of upper Assam and Dhubri was declared as the National Waterway-2 in 1988.

Sources said the Inland Water Authority of India (IWAI) will charge Rs 318 per tonne of cargo from Pandu to encourage entrepreneurs and logistic operators to shift to inland waterway from road transportation.

Gadkari also laid the foundation stone for a new scheme for protection of Majuli Island from flood and erosion.

-(NGB, Inputs: Agencies)

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