India is working to build an Inland Waterway Transport (IWT) mode over Brahmaputra River, said the Indian Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways.
India and Bangladesh are jointly developing the Indo-Bangladesh protocol routes to improve the connectivity between the national waterways to boost inland navigation in the North East, reports Assam Tribune.
A ship repair facility at Pandu is also being built as part of the project for the development of the waterway.
Currently, vessels in the North Eastern Region (NER) are taken to Kolkata through Bangladesh for dry dock repair. The project – to be built by 2025 – is said to beneficial for North Eastern Regions.
Besides that, fairways are being developed in Sunderbans to enable vessels to navigate through the Indo-Bangladesh protocol routes.
Bhutan has identified Inland waterways as an alternate mode of transportation for trade in Bangladesh due to lower transportation cost, larger shipment size compared to road, as well as avoiding congestion on land routes.
With the accessibility of IWT mode, trade between India and Bangladesh is expected to increase and generate more traffic growth on the national waterways.
Trading in North Eastern Regions through IWT mode is expected to continue and reach a significant scale in future.