Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal launches ₹308 crore waterways development projects in North East India

Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal spearheaded a significant push for waterways development, unveiling projects worth ₹308 crore for the North East region in Guwahati. The event, which took place simultaneously at Bogibeel in Dibrugarh, Badarpur in Karimganj, IWAI port in Dhubri, and Sonamura in Tripura, marked a milestone in the region’s infrastructure development.

The inauguration ceremony saw the presence of various dignitaries, including the Minister of Transport, Fisheries & Excise, Assam, Parimal Suklabaidya, the Minister of Health & Family Welfare, Information Technology, Assam, Keshab Mahanta, and the MP (Lok Sabha) for Guwahati, Queen Oja, among others. The Union Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Labour Employment, Govt of India, Rameshwar Teli, also participated in the programme from Dibrugarh, emphasizing the government’s commitment to regional development.

Key projects unveiled by the Minister included the Passenger-cum-Cargo terminal at Bogibeel near Dibrugarh, the Inland Water Transport Terminal at Sonamura in Tripura, and upgraded terminals at Karimganj & Badarpur in Assam. These terminals are expected to revitalize inland water transport in the region, facilitating both cargo and passenger movement and enhancing trade and commerce opportunities.

Additionally, foundation stones were laid for the construction of a Custom Immigration Office in Dhubri and the compound wall for IWAI Jogighopa terminal. The Bogibeel terminal, constructed with an investment of nearly ₹50 crore, includes cargo & passenger berths, approach & other internal roads, transit shed, open storage area, and truck parking area, among others. The Sonamura terminal, developed with an investment of ₹6.91 crore, has the potential to attract trans-boundary trade and support passenger movement on ferries between India and Bangladesh.

Speaking at the event, Sonowal emphasized the government’s commitment to developing the region’s waterways under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He highlighted the terminals’ role as catalysts for economic development, amplifying trade opportunities and enhancing connectivity within the region and with neighboring countries like Bangladesh. He also announced new initiatives, including the deployment of tourist jetties and Electric Hybrid Catamarans, aimed at boosting tourism and green energy usage in inland waterways.

The projects launched by Sarbananda Sonowal reflect the government’s vision for inclusive growth and development in the North East region, aligning with the ‘Act East’ policy. These initiatives are poised to transform the region into a powerhouse of India’s growth story, driving economic prosperity and enhancing connectivity in the region.

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