Rajya Sabha passed National Waterway Bill for Assam’s Barak River

The National Waterway (Lakhipur-Bhanga Stretch of the Barak River) Bill, 2013 has been passed by the Rajya Sabha. The Bill aims to develop the 121 km Barak river stretch in Assam as country’s sixth National Waterway that would particularly benefit Assam, Nagaland, Mizoram, Manipur, Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh by facilitating cargo movement there.
Cost and Benefits:

  • The project will need an investment of Rs 123 crore and an expenditure of Rs 3.6 crore per annum would be incurred for maintenance of navigation aids, terminals and dredging.
  • The projects would be implemented in two phases in total span of 5 years by Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) set up under IWAI Act, 1985.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.
  • The Bill provides for unified development of waterways for shipping, navigation and transportation of cargo to the northeastern region.
  • 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.  It will not only expand infrastructure there but would benefit lakhs of people.
  • It will save a lot of time and resources wasted in transporting over-sized cargo to the North East.



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