Guwahati, Jan 10: Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways, and AYUSH, Sarbananda Sonowal is hopeful that cargo ship will start sailing over the Brahmaputra in Assam towards the later part of 2022.

Sonowal said that the dredging work at critical junctures of the river has already been initiated by the ministry.

“The Bangladesh government, with support from Government of India, is also working on the Jamuna river to make the 2000 km long waterway from Sadiya to Haldia via Bangladesh a smooth passage,” Sonowal said.

Sharing the vision of the Prime Minister’s vision of Gati Shakti, the minister said that the northeastern region will play a critical role in resuscitating the economic prosperity of India.

“In order to provide a springboard for the region to act as a catalyst in India’s economic rebound, there have been efforts to build waterways of the region & connect it to major ports in the Bay of Bengal. This will not only unlock the economic potential of the region but allow the landlocked region direct access to the international trading routes,” Sonowal said.

The minister said that the government is working tirelessly to connect Mizoram, Tripura, and Assam to strategic ports in Myanmar (Sittwe port) and Bangladesh (Mongola & Chittongong ports).

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In order to integrate expertise from the northeast to make the dredging into a sustainable & economically viable proposition, the minister also indicated that support from experts in Tezpur University, IIT Guwahati and IIM Shillong will be crucial.

“The potential of the Brahmaputra in Assam, as well as other rivers of Northeast, is huge and people will get direct benefit from the development of river tourism, cargo ship transportation, and an alternative economic transportation,” Sonowal said.

The government’s Jal Marg Vikas project is working to ensure optimal and holistic development of the region by rejuvenating the rivers as a viable and sustainable economic proposition.