GUWAHATI, April 10 - Though a tripartite agreement has been signed for the dredging of the river Brahmaputra, the time frame for the work and the estimated project cost are yet to be finalized. The detailed project report for the work has also not yet been prepared.
The Assam Government, Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) and National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) signed an agreement on April 4 in presence of the Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari and Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal for dredging of the river Brahmaputra.
Official sources told The Assam Tribune that as no time frame has yet been fixed for the implementation of the project, the State Government would have to keep mounting pressure on the Centre for the early implementation to increase the water carrying capacity of the river Brahmaputra. As per the agreement, the NHAI would act as the representative of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and the State Government would have to maintain regular pressure on the agency to ensure that the implementation of the scheme is expedited.
As per the agreement, the IWAI would carry out dredging of the National Waterways 2, that is the river Brahmaputra, and other waterways within Assam, while, the Assam Government recognized the fact that dredging of the waterways would be required for the development of the State. The State Government agreed to provide continuous support to the IWAI and NHAI to implement the project. As a part of the agreement, the NHAI would develop and upgrade different sections of the National Highways within the State.
The State Government agreed to give rights for usage of sand and silt suitable and acceptable quality and dredged materials dumped on the banks of the waterways within the state boundary to the IWAI and NHAI at reasonable or no cost.
The agreement said that the sand and silt dredged by the IWAI would be used by the agency for construction of structures related to water transport infrastructure near the river or the same would be passed on to the NHAI at a reasonable cost for construction of roads. The IWAI would notify the dumping grounds before the commencement of the work. The IWAI would keep informing the State and Central Government on the progress of the work from time to time.
The NHAI would transport the dredged material to its sites for construction of the roads.