The Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways and AYUSH, Sarbananda Sonowal met the top officials of Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), Cochin Shipyard Limited & IIT, Madras to review the progress on the Pandu Ship repair facility in Guwahati on Monday.
The minister said that the technical work is being completed as the construction of the facility is slated to commence from May 2022. The project is aimed to be completed within two years; i.e. by 2024.
The announcement of the new ship repair facility was made on 26th August 2021. This facility is going to be a major contributor to the economic resurgence of the region.
Sarbananda Sonowal said, "Our rich history of economic prosperity can be reinvigorated by developing our rivers as waterways for smooth & swift movement of cargo and passengers.The design and implementation of this project is being done jointly by IWAI and Cochin Shipyard Limited. The technical support is being provided by IIT, Madras. The facility - also referred to as 'Slipway' - is going to be developed on 3.67 acres of land which is provided by the Government of Assam.
The minister further expounded that the future progress of the Northeast region lies in the development of the waterways. As the work has already started on the National Waterway 2 - the Brahmaputra - as well as National Waterway 6 - the Barak - to develop to facilitate cargo traffic, passenger traffic as well as tourist jetties for economic growth of the region.
In order to achieve a motorable waterway, dredging of both rivers are to be done at critical junctures so that adequate depth is achieved for cargo ship movement. Speaking after the review meeting, Union Minister Sonowal said, "Our rich history of economic prosperity can be reinvigorated by developing our rivers as waterways for smooth & swift movement of cargo and passengers."
"This will not only boost the export sector of the entire northeastern region but will also become a major multiplier in the employment generation in the region. All the state governments of the Northeast have extended their support in developing these waterways. We - the centre along with the state governments - will work together in a seamless manner so that the people can reap the benefits & prosper," he said.