‘Waterways connectivity should be harnessed for economical benefit of NE region’

Guwahati, Aug 27 (FN Agency) Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways and Ayush, Sarbananda Sonowal today said that waterway connectivity should be harnessed for the economical benefit of the Northeastern region. Speaking at a stakeholders conclave on Waterways as Engine for Growth here today, Mr Sonowal said that focus is now given to the waterway connectivity in the region as a result Mongla and Chittagong ports are now accessible to the region. He said that the centre is working hard to make Northeast a growth engine of the country, and the region is taking speed on the path of development. He urged the stakeholders from across the Northeastern zone to take advantage of the conclave and priorities in which products from this region can be exported to foreign countries.

Union Minister of State for Ports, Shipping & Waterways Shantanu Thakur said that the shipping ministry is taking initiatives to develop and use water resources and waterways for the economical development of the northeast zone. Assam Chief Minister of Assam, Himanata Biswa Sarma said that this conclave is the platform to get an idea of how water resources can be used for economic growth and sharing of ideas through this kind of interaction can help the people of the Northeast zone in getting the market for their product. The government has declared 20 waterways as National Waterways in 2016. The ministry has initiated work on NW 2 (Brahmaputra) and NW 16 (Barak) as more waterways are considered for development. The Indo Bangladesh Protocol (IBP) route was also developed jointly by India and Bangladesh at an estimated cost of Rs 305.84 crores to provide alternate connectivity for all North-eastern states from Guwahati and Jogighopa to Kolkata and Haldia ports.