Assam will soon start water taxis between Guwahati city and the airport near here, a state minister said on Tuesday. Assam Industry Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary said this while addressing a press conference and added that the government has decided to bring in 50 water taxis soon. The introduction of water taxis will reduce travel time between Guwahati city and the airport to a mere 18 minutes.
“A jetty will be developed near the Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport (LGBI). The water taxis will take the visitors from the jetty in the city to the proposed jetty near the airport. From there, air-conditioned buses of the Assam State Transport Corporation (ASTC) will take the visitors to the airport in absolute comfort,” Patowary said.
He said the government has also taken up several steps to revitalise inland water transport in Assam, and added that the Central government has also notified nine new national waterways in Assam, apart from the Brahmaputra and Barak national waterways.
“We are planning to improve and upgrade all the jetties in Assam, the number of which is 101 at this moment. Most of them are in dilapidated condition. If needed, we are going to set up some more jetties with modern technologies to make the waterways vibrant. The use of waterways will reduce the transportation cost in the landlocked state to a great extent,” the minister said.
The minister added that the government is also in the process of bringing back the government barges which are in Kolkata now. “Of 18 such barges, seven have already been brought back to Assam and the process is on to bring back the 11 others to make the waterways very effective in Assam.”
The Assam government has already decided to dredge the Brahmaputra river and other national waterways to make the river transport effective.
“We are going to sign an MoU with the central government soon for dredging the Brahmaputtra river from Sadiya to Dhubri,” Patowary said, adding that the government also plans to dredge the Brahmaputra river from Dhubri to neighbouring Bangladesh, which will make river transport easier with ports in Bangladesh.