GUWAHATI, July 3 - Transport Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary discussed the World Bank-aided project to modernise the inland water transport (IWT) in the State with World Bank representatives at Janata Bhawan, Dispur, today.
The World Bank has initiated a Rs 1,000 crore aid for development of the water terminals, river front and jetties in a move to upgrade IWT in the State. The meeting discussed the development of five port cities at Jogighopa, Neamatighat, Dibrugarh, Biswanath and Silchar. The ports will be a multi-modal hub with storage and cargo handling facilities.
The Minister asked the team to expedite the work and transform the plan into action. He said, �The river Brahmaputra, passing by the Guwahati city, is an asset for us. Proper development of the river front will benefit the tourism industry and help in increasing business and commerce manifold.�
He also underscored the need for introducing water taxis from the city to airport via the Brahmaputra for easy and faster mode of travel. The Minister also said the development in this sector will facilitate fast, cost-effective and pollution-free transportation of goods, agro-products and passengers.
Referring to the State�s vibrant water transport system in pre-Independence era, Patowary said the revival of this mode of transport will boost business and help the State in scaling new heights of economic success.
Additional Chief Secretary Ravi Capoor talked on the immense possibility of introducing cruise along the rivers adjoining the National Parks of Kaziranga and Manas.
Bharat Bhusan Dev Choudhury, Director, IWT and World Bank officials Atul Agarwal, Anthony Hughes and David Wignall also attended the meeting.