The country’s longest river cruise service will begin early next year between Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh and Bogibeel in Assam. It will traverse a distance of more than 4,000 km. via Indo-Bangladesh Protocol Route (IBRP), the route will connect rivers Ganga and Brahmaputra, Union minister Sarbananda Sonowal said, on Monday.
For the people of Assam, the service will usher in a novel opportunity to use inland waterways for promoting their trade, tourism, and for cargo transportation, the minister of ports, shipping, and waterways (MoPSW) stated.
The minister also launched multiple projects for the development of the area in and around the Bogibeel bridge in the Dibrugarh district.
At Bogibeel and Guijan, he laid the foundation stone for the construction of floating jetties. Also, he inaugurated the Bogibeel Riverfront Passenger Jetty. Near the bridge, it has been built by the Northeast Frontier Railways (NFR) as part of the development initiatives.
On the occasion, Sonowal, said the vision of PM Narendra Modi to harness the potential of an economic and ecologically sound logistics avenue of inland waterways is being realised through the Gati Shakti National Master plan.
“The Gati Shakti plan is exactly the key to unlock the huge potential of inland water transportation in Assam using National Waterways 2 on our river Brahmaputra. We must tap this opportunity and build an economic advantage which will power the whole of Northeast India as the New Engine of growth for India,” he said, reported news agency PTI.
Across the Brahmaputra, the government is also identifying avenues to promote inland navigation, river cruise tourism, and construct suitable terminals, he maintained.
Using advanced and updated technology, the two floating jetties at Bogibeel in Dibrugarh district and Guijan in Tinsukia will be constructed as state-of-art terminals (estimated cost of Rs 8.25 crore). By February 2023, the project is scheduled to be completed, the minister said.