GUWAHATI, Aug 8 - Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal will flag off four new ferries of Inland Water Transport tomorrow at Kamalabari ferry ghat of Majuli.
The Majuli-based ferry service lacked adequate number of departmental ferry vessels and as a result people had to depend on country-made boats.
Out of these four new vessels, one is a 28-metre-long steel catamaran built at a cost of about Rs 2 crore which will carry more than 150 passengers apart from four vehicles and 50 bikes at a time. The other three vessels are also constructed keeping in view the specific requirements of ferry passengers. IWT Director Bharat Bhushan Dev Choudhury said that more such vessels will be placed at Majuli in the days to come. One Ro Ro vessel is slated to be operational from October between Neamatighat and Aphalamukh of Majuli which will facilitate movement of trucks and passengers at the same time.
The Chief Minister will also lay the foundation stone of an Amenity Centre at Kamalabari Ghat in presence of Transport Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary with gender and disabled-friendly facilities.
Sonowal will also flag off a vessel for a new ferry service between Ahotguri and Misamora which will benefit the people who have to travel now via Dergaon, Jorhat, Neamatighat to reach the district headquarters at Garmur for simple official work. With the inauguration of new service they will be able to reach Garmur within a shorter duration.
Apart from the new vessels, one RPL (ramped powered lighter) has been refurbished to carry JCB and dumpers to Majuli from Jorhat side and it will also be placed into service by the CM tomorrow.
It may be mentioned that social and environmental impact study is being done by the IWT to develop and modernize the sector with World Bank assistance within a period of five years.