Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Saturday announced that Rs 1,250 crore has been sanctioned for overall development of inland water transport of Assam. The Union minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping asked the state water resources department to involve a foreign consultant, if required, for preparing the Detailed Project Report (DPR) within three months, it added.
“For the development of transport sector, Central Government has sanctioned Rs 1,250 crore,” Gadkari said at a meeting of the Brahmaputra Board and Water Resources Department at Kaziranga. Of this amount, Rs 32 crore will be utilised for constructing 56 terminals and Rs 60 crore for Ro-Ro service, an official release said.
Ro-ro is ‘roll-on, roll-off’ ferry service in which people and goods including vehicles would be ferried. Infrastructural development will also be brought about at the terminals at Bogibeel, Nematighat, Kamalabari, Silghat, Jogighopa, Silchar, Dhubri and Pandu, the release said. Gadkari asked the state government to take immediate steps to upgrade the entire network of embankments measuring around 4,474 kilometre and make them road-cum-dykes.
The expenses of this upgradation job would be borne by the Centre, he said adding that raw materials should be procured from local markets and local youths should be involved in the project.
Gadkari also reviewed the progress of the works related to perennial flood and erosion management, dredging of the Brahmaputra and the express highway, the release said. “He also underlined the importance of using the latest technology in implementing all the ongoing projects and lending beauty to the Brahmaputra Express Highway which would be made using the sand to be extracted from dredging and make the express highway attractive for tourists,” it said.
The Union Minister took a note of soil erosion taking place in several parts of the state and asked the state government to go for a plantation drive to check floods.