‘Waterways transportation would make products made in Northeast competitive in international market’

DIBRUGARH: Chief Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma on Tuesday attended the two-day ‘Waterways Conclave 2022’ being organized from April 11 in Dibrugarh by the Ministry of Ports, Shipping & Waterways. Speaking at the event, the Chief Minister, lauding the Union government for holding the convention in the State, termed the conclave a significant step towards boosting regional connectivity which in turn would push economic growth and generate employment opportunities for youths of the region. Dr. Sarma further stated that improvement in waterways connectivity would bring down logistic costs of business entities and manufacturing units in the region, which in turn would make products made in the northeast more competitive in the market.

The Chief Minister, praising the Prime Minister’s motto of “transformation through transportation”, said that the long-neglected waterways of the region have got a new impetus that has begun to bear fruits in recent times. “Only recently, cargo vessel carrying the first consignment of 200 metric tons of food grain from Patna and another vessel with a consignment of 1800 steel products from Haldia sailing through the Indo-Bangladesh Protocol route covering a distance of 2350 km over river Ganga and Brahmaputra arrived at Pandu Port,” the Chief Minister stated, adding, “This was historic and the beginning of a new journey in the economic growth of the entire north eastern region.”

Dr. Sarma also spoke about the immense potential waterways hold in alleviating the transportation woes of the region – owing to difficult terrain – while at the same time providing a less polluting means of commutation, thereby contributing to the country’s commitment towards mitigation of global warming. Union Minister of Transport Nitin Gadkari, speaking through remote conferencing, urged all stakeholders to make the best use of the Union government’s initiatives in general and the Prime Minister’s personal involvement aimed at economic development of the northeast. The Union Minister urged all stakeholders to contribute towards economic growth of the northeastern region by indulging in trade through waterways with neighbouring countries such as Bangladesh.

Union Petroleum Minister Rameswar Teli, Assam Industries & Commerce Minister Chandramohan Patowary, Union Minister of State for External Affairs Rajkumar Ranjan, Manipur Cabinet Minister Awangbow Newmai and Bhutan Economic Affairs Minister Loknath Sharma also spoke on the occasion. Union Minister of DoNER G. Kishan Reddy, Union Communication Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, Bangladesh Minister of Shipping Khalid Mohammed Choudhury too spoke through video conferencing.

Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal, Assam Power Minister Bimal Bora, Member of Parliament of Mangaldai Lok Sabha constituency Dilip Saikia, legislators of Assam Legislative Assembly Terash Gowala, Taranga Gogoi, among others, were also present in today’s conclave. Later, before his departure from Dibrugarh, the Chief Minister visited the venue from where the Prime Minister is scheduled to inaugurate seven new cancer hospitals and lay the foundation stones of another seven cancer hospitals on April 28 this month and directed the officials concerned to take all measures necessary to ensure smooth conduct of the big event, stated a press release.

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