Guwahati, Apr 5: In pursuance of its policy to develop infrastructure facilities in the country, the Modi government has embarked upon an ambitious plan to construct the first express highway of the north-east India along the Brahmaputra. The cost of this project is estimated at Rs. 40,000 crore.
Disclosing this Union Surface Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said that the government has taken a decision to dredge the Brahmaputra River from Sadia in Upper Assam to increase navigational channels up to Chittagong port in Bangladesh.
Gadkari further said that after materialisation of this project, the entire economic corridor of Assam will be transformed. He had met with the Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and his cabinet colleagues on the sidelines of the Namami Brahmaputra festival in Guwahati.
The project would pave the way for a direct access to the Brahmaputra National Waterway II to the Haldia Port in West Bengal and Chittagong port in Bangladesh. This would boost the trade with South East Asian nations, Gadkari said adding that the discussions have already been held with the Bangladesh Government on dredging of the river.
Gadkari further said that the Centre would provide funds for development of 56 jetties on the banks of Brahmaputra and operationalise five more Roll-on and Roll-off vessels to improve waterway communication in Assam.
He asked the state government to identify places on the banks of the Brahmaputra which could be developed into ports and submit a feasibility report to the Union Ministry.
Gadkari also reviewed the progress of several national highways and other projects related to the construction of the Brahmaputra Express Highway and national waterways over river Brahmaputra.