Waterways for Opening Business & Employment Opportunities in North-East (Download PDF)


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Existing Problems: For NER, routing through the chicken neck corridor in Siliguri coupled with poor condition of roads escalates transport costs and time taken. Annual flash floods in Brahmaputra and Barak also wash off roads and transport infrastructure.

Map of national waterway 2

Map of National Waterway 2

Map of national waterway 2

Developing Pandu Port to Dhubri

  • Two barges of 200 metric ton capacity each will carry 400 tonnes of cement from the Inland Waterways Authority of India’s (IWAI) Pandu Port to Dhubri covering a distance of 255 kilometers under the Sagar mala programme.

  • Transportation of cargo through NW 2 from Pandu to Dhubri will help save 150,000 tonne km of road transportation per trip and 300 km of road travel while reducing the logistics costs.

Sagar Mala Project

Sagar Mala project is a strategic and customer-oriented Rs. 8,000,000 million (US $130 billion or €100 billion) investment initiative of the Government of India entailing setting up of

  • 6 + mega ports

  • modernization of several dozen more ports

  • development of 14 + Coastal Economic Zones

  • at least 29 Coastal Economic Units.

Bringing Traffic and Earning

  • IWAI has been working closely with major cement firms like Dalmia, Star and Amrit and appreciates interest shown by them in cargo movement through waterways.

  • IWAIwill charge only Rs. 318 per ton as waterway transportation charges from Pandu to Dhubri/Hatsingimari to enthuse entrepreneurs and logistic operators to shift to the cost effective and eco-friendly mode of transportation that also reduces congestion on road.

  • IWAI is making efforts to get other cargo owners to shift their transportation to waterways as this can be a key enabler for reduction of logistics cost and open up more business & employment opportunities.

Pandu as Key Terminal

  • Pandu, due to its geographical location, is one of the key terminals on NW2. Both high & low level RCC jetties will be constructed for round the year loading and unloading of cargo and railway BG siding.

Amenities on NW 2

  • NW 2 to be marked with day navigation marks.

  • Night navigational facilities will comprise of solar operated lights on beacon between Bangladesh Border and Silghat (440km).

  • Silghat is the last Port of Call on the Protocol route connecting Assam with Kolkata/Haldia through Bangladesh.

    • Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS) stations will be provided at four locations

    • Dhubri,

    • Jogighopa,

    • Biswanthghat

    • Dibrugarh

    for safe navigation of vessels with electronic charts.

  • Floating terminal facilities have been provided at 12 important identified locations viz. Hatsingimari, Dhubri, Jogighopa, Pandu, Tezpur, Silghat, Biswanathghat, Neamati, Sengajan, Bogibil, Dibrugarh (Oakland) and Oriumghat, which will be increased as per location needs.

    Background on National Waterways

  • Of the 106 new National Waterways that were notified in April 2016, under the National Waterways Act, 2016,19 are in NER. Some of these are

  • NW-16 (river Barak)

  • NW-95 (river Subansiri)

  • NW-39 (river Ganol)

  • NW-93 (river Simsang)

  • NW-101 (river Tizu and Zungki)

  • NW-31 (Dhansiri)

  • NW-62 (river Lohit)

  • NW-106 (river Umngot)

  • NW-18 (river Beki)

    • In April 2017, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between India and Bangladesh Government to make Ashuganj-Zakiganj stretch of River Kushiara and Sirajganj-Daikhowa stretch of River Jamuna navigable by ensuring minimum depth of 2.5 meter by dredging.

    • Barak valley will thus be connected to National Waterway-1 and National Waterway-2 through Barak River.

    • It is estimated that on completion of works on National Waterway-16, by 2020 - 21, the movement of 3 million metric tonnes of cargo per annum will be ensured.

- Published/Last Modified on: January 27, 2018

Govt. Schemes/Projects

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