Brahmaputra gets connected with Ganga via Indo Bangladesh Protocol Route
Guwahati: Union Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Sarbananda Sonowal, received the maiden voyage of food-grains from Patna to Pandu via Bangladesh in Guwahati today. Chief Minister of Assam, Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma, was also present when self-propelled vessel MV Lal Bahadur Shastri carried 200 Metric Tonnes of foodgrains for Food Corporation of India (FCI) completed the maiden pilot run from Patna to Pandu via Bangladesh.
The vessel started its sail from Patna on National Waterway-1 (NW1) on river Ganga and passed through Bhagalpur, Manihari, Sahibganj, Farakka, Tribeni, Kolkata, Haldia, Hemnagar; Indo Bangladesh Protocol (IBP) route through Khulna, Narayanganj, Sirajganj, Chilmari and National Waterway-2 (NW2)through Dhubri, and Jogighopa covering a distance of 2,350 km. The dignitaries welcomed this wonderful beginning that has the potential to revolutionise the cargo movement. Another vessel MV Ram Prasad Bismil with two barges Kalpana Chawla and APJ Abdul Kalam started the voyage from Haldia on February 17, 2022, and is on the way to Pandu. The vessel is carrying 1800 MT Tata steel and already reached Bangladesh Border at Dhubri. The ODC (over Dimensional cargo, 252 MT) of Numaligarh Bio-refinery reached Silghat on February 15, 2022, from Haldia through Inland Water Transport (IWT) via the IBP route. Another ODC (250MT) consignment is also on the way to Silghat.
The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) is planning to run a fixed schedule sailing between National Waterway 1 (NW1) and NW2) heralding a new age of inland water transport for Assam and Northeast India. The protocol on Inland water transit and Trade (PIWTT) between India and Bangladesh is expected to be optimally beneficial in unlocking the value from the cargo trade in the region. To improve the navigability, two stretches of IBP routes, i.e., Sirajganj-Daikhowa and Ashuganj-Zakiganj are also being developed for Rs. 305.84 crores on an 80:20 share basis (80% being borne by India and 20% by Bangladesh).
The development of these stretches is expected to provide seamless navigation to Northeastern region via the IBP route. The contracts for dredging on the two stretches for providing and maintaining requisite depth for a period of seven years (from 2019 to 2026) are underway. Once the IBP Route no. 5 & 6 from Maia near Farakka in India to Aricha in Bangladesh, the IWT distance connecting NW1 to NW2 (North Eastern Region) will further be reduced by nearly 1000 km, which will reduce time and cost to a great extent, the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, stated today.
– global bihari bureau