SHILLONG, May 2 � India would connect 101 rivers through inland waterways, including Ganges and Brahmaputra, after passing a landmark legislation in the Parliament this session.
Union Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Jairam Gadkari said the legislation would be placed in the Parliament which would transform the inland waterways system in the country like never before.
Gadkari announced the move after dedicating two vital highways to the Northeastern region at a function at Umroi, some 25 km from the State Capital yesterday.
In his announcement Gadkari said that in China the inland waterways transportation makes up to 47 per cent of the total transport available and in European countries the same is 44 per cent.
Sadly, he said, the inland waterways transportation in India is just 3 per cent. �We would ask the State Governments to have a stake of 26 per cent in development of the waterways in the new Bill that would be placed in the Parliament� the Centre would bear the rest of the cost,� the Minister said.
Under the new Bill, Assam would be one of the biggest beneficiaries as Brahmaputra, Ganges and three other major rivers across the country would be developed in building infrastructure that would give a hand in enhancing communication in the landlocked region.
Gadkari said that out of the three modes of transport � road, railways and waterways � developing waterways is the top priority of the BJP-led NDA Government.
He added that developing communication network is his Government�s top priority as the region has been historically cut off from the rest of the Nation.