The public sector company WAPCOS is preparing a model detailed project report (DPR) for implementing projects for running low-cost ferry services in the inland waterways in North-East states of the country.
Ferry services in North-East India: The Narendra Modi government is keen to start inland waterways navigation and passenger transportation in North-Eastern states! With transportation still being a big challenge in various parts of North-East India, due to lack of railway infrastructure, the Ministry of Shipping is planning to come up with inland waterways transport. Once implemented, this mode of transport will allow people to opt for convenient and low-cost travel. Recently, Shipping Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said that the public sector company WAPCOS is preparing a model detailed project report (DPR) for implementing projects for running low-cost ferry services in the inland waterways in North-East states of the country.
According to a press release issued by the Ministry of Shipping, Mandaviya said that the model DPR, prepared by WAPCOS, can be adopted for quick implementation by the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) in consultation with the different state governments in the North-East region. The minister also said that the inland waterways transport can be a game-changer for the states of North East India as due to difficult terrain, the land routes here are often long, circuitous and time-consuming. Other than bringing ease of movement, the waterways projects will also help generate employment locally, Mandaviya added.
Meanwhile, in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha last month, Mandaviya said that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between India and Maldives on Passenger and Cargo Services in Male. According to him, this will improve people to people contact between the two nations by providing an alternate, direct and less expensive transport mode for passengers and goods. The move is expected to improve economic, social and cultural ties between the two countries as well. According to the minister, the MoU envisaged a regular passenger and cargo ferry service between Kochi and Male/Kulhudhuffushi, or any other ports mutually agreed upon. He believes that sea connectivity between India and Maldives would help to promote inbound tourism, particularly health and wellness tourism.