GUWAHATI, Jan 21 � To make river Brahmaputra a vibrant waterway, the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) has moved the Food Corporation of India (FCI) to work on the feasibility of food grains transportation through the mode.
Similarly, the feasibility of the same is also being discussed with Fertilizer Ministry to explore the medium of transportation of their cargo from Kolkata to various parts of Assam.
This was informed by IWAI chairperson Bhupinder Prasad after she flagged off two cargo vessels - MV Lal Bahadur Shastri and MV Rabindra Nath Tagore - from the Pandu Port to Kolkata here today. The vessels were loaded with jute bales on the river Brahmaputra.
The vessels were flagged off in the presence of Dr RC Tiwari, Chief Managing Director of Jute Corporation of India and Deepak Das, member (Finance and Cargo), IWAI.
The vessels would cover a distance of 1335 kilometres in approximately 12 days.
Prasad, while speaking to media persons, urged the private parties to invest more in water transportation, which would be very cost effective as well as suited for bulk cargo.
�With more vessels expected to ply, it is hoped that new avenues for business and employment would open in the North East region,� she said, adding, �The success of the trial run will encourage Jute Corporation of India and private jute goods manufacturers, business community to transport their cargo using waterways,� Prasad stated.
�The IWAI is making concerted efforts to promote IWT movement in the river Brahmaputra, which not only provides the opportunity to transport cargo but also for tourism and recreational cruises,� she said.
She went on to state that the use of IWT will reduce hassles and accidents faced during movement in other modes.
Moreover, Prasad also stated that the work for the Sittwe Multi Model Kaladan project has also started and is expected to be completed by 2013.
IWAI a statutory body under the Union Ministry of Shipping is responsible for development of inland waterways in general and national waterways in particular.