Waterways, Railways Development in Northeast India To Be Stressed

Guwahati, Nov 1 : The waterways as well as railways can go a long way in solving communication bottlenecks in the North East by making available cheaper and effective means of bulk transport.

The North East Urban Infracon-10, held here yesterday, deliberated on the means for rapid urban development of NE, while also focusing on the need to enhance connectivity with and within the region.

Mr Roy, Director of the Inland Waterways Authority of India(IWAI), elaborating on the overall prospects of riverways in NE region, stressed that rivers can be effectively used for bulk transport, which is a bare necessity for growth of any region.

''Assam being gifted with two major rivers, the Brahmaputra and Barak, their benefits must be fully tapped,'' Mr Roy added. He also pointed out that the waterways can move huge amount of cargoes with less fuel and remain free from sound and air pollution. The IWAI director also highlighted on the need to develop the national waterways no 2 over Brahmaputra and night navigation up to Dibrugarh in eastern Assam.

He also pointed to the river tourism potential of inland waterways. Elaborating on the role of Northeast Frontier Railways in the development of rail infrastructure in NE, general manager of NF Railways Keshab Chandra said several projects have been undertaken for infrastructural development. The NE Railways at present is executing 18 new lines and 7 gauge conversions in the North East, out of which 11 projects are national ones, he informed. ''It has contributed to decongestion and has facilitated urban development,'' Chandra said. He also added that the Assam-Tripura connectivity project will be completed within 2020.