Minister of Roads, Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari today said the Centre will dredge the Brahmaputra river from Sadia in Upper Assam to increase navigational channels up to Chittagong port in Bangladesh. “Once this project materialises, it will change the entire economic corridor of Assam,” Gadkari said during a review meeting with Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, which was attended by several state ministers and senior officials.
The project would ensure that the Brahmaputra National Waterway-II has direct access to Haldia port in West Bengal and Chittagong port in Bangladesh, and would boost trade with South East Asian nations, he said adding, discussion has already been held with the Bangladesh Government on dredging of the river. Gadkari said the Centre would provide funds for development of 56 jetties on the banks of Brahmaputra and operationalise five more Roll-On and Roll-Off vessels to improve waterway communication in Assam.
He asked the state government to identify places on the banks of Brahmaputra which could be developed into ports and submit a feasibility report to the Union Ministry. Gadkari also reviewed the progress of several national highways and other projects related to construction of the Brahmaputra Express Highway and national waterways over river Brahmaputra.