A Rs. 46.6 crore IWT terminal is to be developed in Bogibeel

An inland waterway terminal for tourists and cargo is to be built in Bogibeel by February 2024 with an investment of 46.60 crores rupees.

Union Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal laid the foundation stone for the Inland Waterway Terminal (IWT) to be developed at Bogibeel in Dibrugarh on the banks of the Brahmaputra River (National Waterways 2).

The construction of the inland waterway terminal for tourists and cargo will cost 46.60 crores rupees and is expected to be completed by February 2024. Once developed, this terminal is expected to play a crucial role in reviving inland waterway transport in the region, with both freight and passenger traffic paving the way for trade and commerce growth.

Sonowal said, “It is a momentous day for the people of Assam as we focus on rejuvenating inland waterway transport in the region by further strengthening the infrastructure of the capital, Bogibeel.” The new terminal will help us realize the vision of the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to enable waterway transport as a transformation factor. We must respect and celebrate Mahabahu’s immense potential
Brahmaputra’ and make the best use of it to promote efficient development and progress without pointing to ecological or economic costs.

Given the historic role that Dibrugarh played in the past as a hub of inland waterways, I believe that this modern terminal at Bogibeel will act as a catalyst to regain Dibrugarh’s lost glory as a major trading hub and herald growth for Upper Assam , Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland in the coming days.”

Under the auspices of the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), the node authority for inland waterways under the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, the IWT terminal will have many modern features. The terminal is owned by Indian Port Rail & Ropeway Construction Limited. Key features include, but are not limited to, cargo and passenger berths, access roads and other internal roads, a transit shed, an open storage area, a truck parking area, and a passenger waiting area. The development of the terminal will play a crucial role in the development of Upper Assam and neighboring states such as Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland in terms of both cargo and passenger transportation. This will also lead to an increase in eco-tourism and facilitate the transportation of EXIM cargo at comparatively lower transportation costs compared to other goods.

Given the growing popularity of inland waterways as an economical and efficient means of transport, other new industries such as food processing, pharmaceuticals, cement, etc. could emerge in the region while further enhancing economies of scale for existing key trades such as tea, polymer, coal, fertilizers, etc. The modern terminal is also likely to play a crucial role as a harbinger of growth for the tourism sector with major destinations such as Sibsagar, Majuli, Itanagar, Ziro Valley, Pasighat, Roing, Tawang Valley etc.

As part of the Prime Minister’s Act East Policy, MoPSW and IWAI have been making transformative changes to the waterways sector in India over the past nine years. These measures have led to exceptionally remarkable changes in the country. In order to develop the waterways in the Northeast region, IWAI has made every effort to preserve the fairway in the Brahmaputra River through dredging and other river protection works. Navigational aids and a night navigation system are also in place on the river up to Silghat. Permanent terminals have been developed at Pandu and Dhubri. In the past two years, Dhubri terminal has been extremely useful and 385 cargo ships have moved from Dhubri to Bangladesh. In order to use Pandu terminal effectively, an alternate road is under construction connecting Pandu terminal to NH-27. The project costs amount to 180 crore rupees.

The construction of the Bogibeel IWT will increase industrial growth and lead to further demands on transportation needs. It will contribute to the socio-economic development not only of Assam but of the entire Northeast Zone as a whole.

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