Elders pass Bill to declare Barak river as National Waterway

SILCHAR10-06-2007- (BAMBOO SUMGLING CONTINUES IN INDO-BANGLADESH BORDER IN ASSAM)Racks of bamboo being smuggled to Bangladesh through Barak River in Silchar district of Assam on Sunday, June 10, 2007. Due to lack of bamboo based industries in this region, majority of its bamboo production go out of the region. Northeast region produces 65 per cent of bamboo in the country and 20 per cent of the global production. Next to China, India has the richest bamboo genetic resources in 136 species including eleven exotic species out of which 58 species belonging to 10 genera are found in the Northeast India. According to United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the bamboo business in the Northeast region would be worth Rs. 5,000 crores in the next 10 years. National Mission on Bamboo Technology and Trade Development envisages expansion of the Indias bamboo market to US $5.5 billion by 2015.PHOTO: RITU_RAJ_KONWAR - caption in file info   | Photo Credit: Ritu_Raj_Konwar - Ritu Raj Konwar

Rajya Sabha on Wednesday passed a bill to declare the 121-km stretch of Barak river in Assam as National Waterway, a move aimed at unified development of waterways for shipping, navigation and transportation of cargo to the north-eastern region.

The National Waterway (Lakhipur-Bhanga Stretch of the Barak River) Bill, 2013 to develop the Barak river stretch as country’s sixth National Waterway would particularly benefit Assam, Nagaland, Mizoram, Manipur, Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh by facilitating cargo movement there.

Shipping Minister G.K. Vasan, who moved the Bill for passage said the project will entail an investment of Rs. 123 crore and would be completed in two phases in five years.

“The waterway has the potential to transport 12.45 lakh tonne of cargo like tea, coffee, iron, steel and coal per annum after its development by 2018-19,” Mr. Vasan said adding, it will not only augment infrastructure there but would benefit lakhs of people.

The first phase of the project would be completed by 2016-17 followed by the second phase which is likely to be completed by 2018-19.

Replying to members queries, he said the country has already five National Waterways covering a length of 4,382 km of which infrastructure has been developed for initial three while the process is on for the remaining two.

“Infrastructure facilities currently available on this waterway are not adequate for safe, convenient and sustained shipping and navigation by large mechanised craft,” the statement of objects and reasons of the Bill said.

It said the regulation and development of the proposed waterway “is in the public interest” and would provide “safe, convenient and sustained shipping.”

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Printable version | Dec 1, 2021 9:57:41 AM |

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