JORHAT, Oct 30 - At a time when the State Government is going ahead to promote Raas festival of Majuli at the national and global level this time, the RO RO ( Roll-on/Roll-Off) vessel service between Kamalabari Ghat (Majuli) and Nimati Ghat (Jorhat) has remained suspended for over five months reportedly after the vessel developed technical snags.
The Raas festival is scheduled to be held in Majuli for at least three days from November 11 and for about a week by local cultural organisations and clubs.
The vessel christened as MV Bhupen Hazarika, which was built at a cost of Rs 10 crore by the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) having a capacity to carry over 100 passengers along with eight trucks each weighing 25 tonnes or 25 small vehicles, had considerably cut down the travelling time between the Brahmaputra island and mainland Jorhat.
It may be mentioned here that Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, also the MLA of Majuli, on October 11 last year had launched the service at the Kamalabari Ghat.
The steel-built vessel having a length of 46.50 metres and 13.30 metres breadth, has been lying docked at Nimatighat presently waiting for rectification of the technical defect.
A Majuli district source stated that the IWAI had entrusted to run the vessel, equipped with one main engine and two additional engines, to a private company based outside Assam.
When contacted, the Majuli Deputy Commissioner Bikram Kairi who assumed charge earlier this month, told The Assam Tribune that the district administration had taken up the matter with higher authorities in Dispur.
Kairi said he has been informed that the Government was in touch with top authorities of IWAI and has been assured of rectifying the snag at the earliest.
It may be mentioned here that regular to and fro ferry services between Kamalabari and other ghats of Majuli with Nimatighat, the main gateway to Majuli, has been continuing with over 10 trips a day under the Inland Water Transport wing of the State Transport department.