Dredging Corp, Inland Waterways Authority To Dredge 120 km of Assam Fairway

Union Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways (MoPSW) and Ayush, Sarbananda Sonowal announced that its autonomous body, Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), has signed an agreement with Dredging Corporation of India (DCI) to build and maintain a 120 km long all-weather fairway in Assam. This marks the DCI’s entry into India’s inland waterways domain. 

The fairway will cover three RoPax streams on the Brahmaputra (NW 2), Barak (NW 16), and Kopili (NW 57) rivers. It will cater to the Over Dimensional Cargo (ODC) from the Numaligarh Refinery (NRL). Its finished products will also be shipped via NW 2 and NW 31 (Dhansiri River). Work has already begun on Brahmaputra and Dhansiri rivers, while Barak and Kopili rivers dredging are yet to begin.

The agreement is valid till 2026 and can be renewed further. Initial funding of ₹204.47 crores has been approved by the Ministry.

Their to-do list involves dredging, banding, channel markings, and river training activities to build the fairway. This move will clear the waterway and ensure the minimum Least Available Depth (LAD) for the safe navigation of ships and ferries. It will give the necessary boost to a highly economical and sustainable transportation mode in the region. Moreover, the freight volumes and the longest river cruise in the world, the Ganga Vilas, will promote trade opportunities.

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