Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday launched the ‘Mahabahu-Brahmaputra’ and also layed the foundation stone of Dhubri Phulbari Bridge via video conferencing. He also performed the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the Majuli Bridge.
The launch of Mahabahu-Brahmaputra will be marked by the inauguration of the Ro-Pax vessel operations between Neamati-Majuli Island, North Guwahati-South Guwahati and Dhubri-Hatsingimari; Shilanyas of Inland Water Transport (IWT) Terminal at Jogighopa and various tourist jetties on River Brahmaputra and launch of digital solutions for Ease-of-Doing-Business, according to the Prime Minister’s Office. Besides these, digital solutions for ease-of-doing-business will be also launched, it said.
The Ro-Pax services will help in reducing travel time by providing connectivity between banks and thus reducing the distance to be travelled by road, the PMO noted. Ro-Pax operation between Neamati and Majuli will reduce the total distance of 420 km currently being travelled by vehicles to only 12 km, resulting in a substantial impact on logistics of small-scale industries of the region.
The programme also includes inaugurations for the construction of tourist jetties at four locations, Neamati, Biswanath Ghat, Pandu and Jogighopa with the financial assistance of Rs 9.41 crores from the Ministry of Tourism. These jetties will promote river cruise tourism, generate local employment and also generate growth for local businesses.
The bridge, to be built with a total cost of approximately Rs 4,997 crores, will meet the long-standing demand of the people from Assam and Meghalaya who were depending on ferry services to travel between the two banks of the river. It will reduce the distance of 205 km to be travelled by road to 19 km, which is the total length of the bridge.
A permanent Inland Water Transport Terminal will also be built at Jogighopa under the programme, which will connect with the multi-modal logistics park also coming up there. This terminal will help in reducing traffic on the Siliguri Corridor towards Kolkata and Haldia. The PMO said it will also facilitate uninterrupted movement of cargo even during the flood season to various North-Eastern states like Meghalaya and Tripura and to Bhutan and Bangladesh as well.