Sarbananda Sonowal Initiated a Number of Projects for the Development of Assam

Sarbananda Sonowal, Union Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways (MoPSW) and Ayush, launched a number of projects to develop the Bogibeel region near Dibrugarh in Assam. In this regard, the Union Minister laid the foundation for the construction of two floating jetties at Bogibeel and Guijan. Sonowal also inaugurated the Bogibeel Riverfront Passenger Jetty. The Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas and Labour, Rameswar Teli, the Chairman of IWAI, Sanjay Bandopadhyaya, and the General Manager of NF Railways, Anshul Gupta, were among those who attended the gala event. 

The two floating jetties at Bogibeel in Dibrugarh district and Guijan in Tinsukia district will be built as state-of-the-art terminals with cutting-edge technology. IWAI is building both jetties over the National Waterways-2 (NW-2) (also known as the River Brahmaputra). The project was awarded to Coastal Consolidated Structures on an EPC basis (engineering, procurement, and construction). The two jetties are expected to cost 8.25 crores each and are expected to be completed by February 2023.

Sarbananda Sonowal also inaugurated the Bogibeel Riverfront Passenger Jetty, which was built as part of the Riverfront Development near the Bogibeel bridge by the Northeast Frontier Railways (NFR). As part of the Riverfront site, plans are in the works to build an open platform, a restaurant, eight bio-toilets, and six awnings. The entire structure is built on rail columns with an angle frame and covered in WPC board flooring. The project is expected to cost Rs 2.5 crore. This project will result in the development of 3560 square metres. Following a meeting at the Bogibeel at the request of Sarbananda Sonowal, riverfront development work has been underway with the goal of making this area a tourist hub in this region.

Sonowal said at the event. “The vision of our leader—Prime Minister Narendra Modi—is to harness the potential of an economic and ecologically sound logistics avenue of inland waterways.” The PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan is the key that we are using to unlock the enormous potential of inland water transportation in Assam by utilising National Waterways 2 and our river Brahmaputra. We must seize this opportunity and create an economic advantage that will propel Northeast India as India’s New Engine of Growth. Our government is also looking into ways to promote inland navigation, river cruise tourism, and the development of suitable terminals along the Brahmaputra. “

The Union Minister also stated that India’s longest river cruise service between Varanasi and Bogibeel will begin early next year, covering a distance of more than 4,000 kilometres via the Ganga, IBPR, and Brahmaputra. This will usher in a novel opportunity for Assamese residents to use inland waterways to promote their trade and livelihood in tourism and cargo transportation.

In addition to the floating jetties, Ferry Ghats, floating restaurants, public eating stalls, tourist visits, picnic spots, eco-resorts, and other amenities are in the works. A permanent cargo terminal at Bogibeel is also being planned to facilitate cargo transport from neighbouring industries such as Brahmaputra Cracker & Polymer Limited, Brahmaputra Valley Fertiliser Corp, and others. A Detailed Project Report (DPR) is being prepared in this regard. The proposed tourist terminal near Guijan Ghat is located on the banks of the Lohit River.

“Nature has bestowed us with one of the most powerful resources—the river Brahmaputra,” the Union Minister continued. Our civilization has always thrived thanks to its might, capability, and promise. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision is to pick up the rich historical legacy that the people of Assam share with the Brahmaputra river and energise multimodal avenues to unlock the region’s enormous economic growth potential. Our sincere effort is to re-energize the NW-2, i.e., the Brahmaputra, so that the region’s businesses can benefit from the huge potential of cargo movement. “

The Project Influence Area (PIA) for the Bogibeel terminal is the upper part of Assam that comprises the Dibrugarh district and includes the districts of Golaghat, Jorhat, Sibsagar, Dibrugarh, Tinsukia, and parts of Nagaland. The presence of the paper industry, coal deposits, food processing units, tea estates, fertiliser production units, and refineries distinguishes the PIA. Similarly, the enormous potential of inland navigation, river cruise tourism on the Lohit and Brahmaputra rivers will be investigated, development jetties along the way will be considered, and the opportunity for ecologically sensitive economic development of the region will be pursued.

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