Guwahati, January 06: The Central Government on December 30, 2017, sanctioned Rs 1250 crore for the development of the transport sector in Assam. Chairing a high powered meeting of the Brahmaputra Board and Water Resources Department at Kaziranga on Saturday, Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Nitin Jairam Gadkari announced the ministry’s decision to pump in this financial assistance for all round development of the inland transport sector of the state. With this financial outlay, efforts will be made to bring about all round development of inland water transport. Moreover, infrastructural development will also be brought about at the terminals at Bogibeel, Nimatighat, Kamalabari, Silghat, Jogighopa, Silchar, Dhubri and Pandu. Of this outlay, an amount of Rs 32 crore will be utilized for constructing 56 terminals and Rs 60 crore will be spent on Ro-Ro service. Moreover, motor driving training institute will be set up in all the districts of the state.
Gadkari also asked the State Government to take immediate steps for upgradation of the entire network of embankments measuring approximately 4474.42 km and make them road cum dykes. He also asked the Water Resources Department to involve a foreign consultant if required for the preparation of Detailed Project Report (DPR) within three months. He also underscored the need for involving local youths and raw materials from local markets for upgradation of the entire network of the embankments. The Union Minister said that the entire fund required for the purpose would be borne by the Centre.
Gadkari also reviewed the progress of the works related to perennial flood and erosion management, dredging of the Brahmaputra and express highway. He also directed Chief Secretary VK Pipersenia to constitute an Integrated Development and Management Team to oversee the progress of the works and submit report to the ministry. The Union Minister also took note of soil erosion taking place in several parts of the state.
Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, while presenting the state government’s initiatives in managing flood and erosion, said that his government has been making sincere efforts to tame flood and erosion. Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s commitment to the judicious management of flood and erosion, he informed the Union Minister that an expert team with the Vice President of NITI Aayog on Chair has been constituted to carry out study encompassing all triggering factors responsible for flood and erosion. He also said Rs 100 crore has also been released for the purpose. He also drew the attention of the Union Minister that the State Government has taken the decision of planting 10 crore saplings across the state. CM Sonowal also thanked Union Minister Gadkari for taking a pro-active initiative for the development of transport sector in Assam and putting in place a sound and integrated system of infrastructure to support development march of the state.
Water Resources Minister Keshab Mahanta, Industries and Commerce Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary, Agriculture Minister Atul Bora, MLAs Mrinal Saikia, Rituporno Baruah, senior government officers and faculty member from IIT Guwahati were present at the meeting.