JORHAT, Nov 29 - The RO RO (Roll-on/Roll-Off) vessel service between Kamalabari Ghat (Majuli) and Nimati Ghat (Jorhat), after being resumed for five days during Raas festivity earlier this month after remaining suspended for over six months, has again been put off.
It may be mentioned here that The Assam Tribune in its October 31, 2019 edition published a report about the said RO RO vessel service remaining suspended for over past six months reportedly due to a technical snag in the vessel.
It is to be also mentioned here that the Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, also the MLA of Majuli, on October 11, 2018, had launched the service at the Kamalabari Ghat.
A highly-placed source in the Inland Water Transport (IWT) wing of the State Transport department told this newspaper that as per the direction of top authorities of IWT in Guwahati, the said vessel service was run by the IWT Dibrugarh-based Division in Upper Assam from November 11 to 15 temporarily after assuming charge from the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) to meet the rush of visitors to Majuli island during Raas festival.
The source informed that after running the vessel for five days the IWT handed over the charge to IWAI and at present the vehicle is anchored at Nimati Ghat, off the town.
The source said that if the water level of the Brahmaputra does not fall extremely low which happens at times during winter season then the vessel could be run.
However, the source stated that as the IWAI owned the vehicle the decision in this regard will have to be taken by IWAI authorities who were based in Guwahati.
It is pertinent to be mentioned here that the vessel christened as MV Bhupen Hazarika was built at a cost of Rs 10 crore by the IWAI and launched the service under its supervision. The vessel has a capacity to carry over 100 passengers along with eight trucks with each weighing 25 tonnes or 25 small vehicles.
The vessel service had considerably cut down the travelling time between the Brahmaputra island and mainland Jorhat.
On November 7, the Jorhat district unit of AASU demanding full resumption of the RO RO service between Kamalabari Majuli and Jorhat at the earliest, had submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister and the Transport Minister, through the Jorhat district administration.