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18/05/23 | 7:38 pm

Assam’s Seven temples to be connected by Waterways

Developing the country’s inland waterways system has been one of India's key priorities. The country is actively developing its inland waterways system to harness the potential of its rivers and promote efficient and sustainable transportation.

The Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways (MoPSW) informed that an MoU for a ‘Riverine Based Tourism Circuit’ being developed over the Brahmaputra river will be signed between the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), Sagarmala Development Company Limited (SDCL), Assam Tourism Development Corporation Limited (ATDC), and the Directorate of Inland Water Transport (DIWT) Assam in Guwahati on May 19.

Seven historic temples, namely Kamakhya, Pandunath, Ashwaklanta, Doul Govinda, Umananda, Chakreshwar, and Auniati Satra, located in Guwahati, will be connected under the Sagarmala project. Moreover, the circuit will sail from Hanuman Ghat in Uzan Bazar and complete its journey by covering all the above-mentioned temples through waterways.

Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Assam Chief Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma will be present at the signing ceremony.

In a statement released by the Ministry, it stated that the project is being developed under the Sagarmala Programme at an initial cost of Rs. 40–45 crore. The Ministry also mentioned that SDCL and IWAI will jointly contribute 55% of the project cost, while the remaining will be provided by ATDC. Further, DIWT has consented to provide the use of ghats near the temples free of cost for the project.

Rejuvenating inland waterways

India has initiated the development of its inland waterways system to harness its full potential. The country has about 14,500 km of navigable waterways, which consist of rivers, canals, backwaters, creeks, etc.

Earlier this year, PM Modi flagged off the world’s longest river cruise, MV Ganga Vilas, which started its journey from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh and travelled around 3,200 km in 51 days to reach Dibrugarh in Assam via Bangladesh, sailing across 27 river systems in India and Bangladesh.

Overall, building inland waterways is necessary to optimise transportation efficiency, reduce congestion, promote sustainable development, and enhance regional connectivity, thereby contributing to economic growth.

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