Multi-Purpose port at Badarpur, to boost riverine commerce: Sonwal

Silchar, Nov 19 : In line with the “Act East” policy of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Ports Shipping & Waterways (MoPSW), Govt of India has taken up several infrastructure projects on National Waterway-1, Indo-Bangladesh Protocol route and National Waterway-2, through the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), to improve the connectivity with North Eastern Region (NER) through waterways.

The river Barak is the lifeline of the Barak Valley region. The river from Bhanga to Lakhipur (121 km) has been declared as National Waterway-16. It connects Barak valley with NW-1 and the rest of India through IBP route 3 & 4 and with NW-2 (river Brahmaputra) through IBP route 7 & 8.

IWAI terminals play a major role in trade in the Barak Valley and adjoining areas Karirmanj terminal is a notified Port of Call and Badarpur is an Extended Port of gall in NW-16 The export through IWT has grown manifolds in recent years and export in FY 2022-23 is already more than 3 times (total 53 vessels carrying 9987 MT) of that in FY 2021-22 (total 18 vessels carrying 2490 MT). With the renovation of the terminals will further easy and increase the export activities & commodities.

Recognizing various economic and recreation activities, the MoPSW, Govt of India and State Government in consultation with the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) are keen to promote the inland navigation on river Barak by constructing / developing suitable infrastructure.

In this regard, with a view to augment infrastructure facility in the waterways of NER, IWAI is carrying out the work for the Renovation of IWAI terminals at Badarpur along NW-16 (river Barak) and Karimganj along IBP route (river Kushiyara) in Karimganj District of Assam through CPWD on deposit work basis. The work for “Renovation of existing shore facilities at Badarpur Terminal” has been awarded by CPWD to M/s S N. Paul & Co. at a total contract price of Rs 1.66 crore and is scheduled to be completed by February, 2023

The work for ‘Renovation of existing shore facilities at Karimganj Terminal” has been awarded by CPWD to M/s Dipak Nath at a total contract price of Rs 2.19 crore and is scheduled to be completed by February, 2023 For Development of Navigational Channel (Fairway) IWAI carried out Dredging in river Barak and installation of Navigational Aids was carried out during 2017-2020 from Ujjaingram to Bhanga (48 km stretch) now for maintenance of channel, dredging of estimated quantity is 7 50 lakh cum (approx) for a 3 year period at cost of about Rs. 45 crore is proposed to be done through Dredging Corporation of India (DCI) in stretch Bhanga to Badarpur (10.50 km) of NW-16.

Also, the hydrographic survey in No man’s land of river Kushiyara between India and Bangladesh has been conducted by joint team of IWAI and BIWTA, Goof of Banglades;1 in the last week of October 2022.

The Project Influence Area (PIA) for the terminal is the Barak Valley of Assam which stretches in districts of Cachar, Karimganj & Hailakandi in Assam and adjoining states of Mizoram, Tripura, Manipur and Meghalaya. The PIA is marked by the presence of cement industry, stone crushers, coal deposits, food processing units, tea estates, etc.

The terminals at Karimganj and Badarpur will provide boost to the region’s socio-economic development. It will create multiple job opportunities in this area by promotion of industries, accessibility of local markets, hinterland connectivity etc.

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