Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal on August 9 flagged off four newly-constructed ferry vessels of Inland Water Transport Department at Kamalabarighat in Majuli.

Taking part in a public meeting at Alimur Mising Gaon, the chief minister hailed the occasion as historic as the new ferry vessels would greatly benefit the commuters of Majuli.

“Strengthening of land, air and water communication is a prime commitment of the state government. Various steps have been taken to build infrastructure at a rapid pace,” chief minister Sonowal said.

Saying that no country can prosper without development of communication and transportation infrastructure, Sonowal stated that waterways play a vital role in economic progress of a country and that is why developed countries have been using waterways for centuries for their trade and business. “All great human civilisations have come up at the banks of rivers and the limitless possibilities of Brahmaputra must be harnessed to develop Majuli and the state,” he said.

Out of the 4 vessels, one is a 28-metre-long steel catamaran built at a cost of about Rs 2 crore which will carry more than 150 passengers apart from 4 vehicles and 50 motor bikes at a time. The other 3 vessels are also constructed keeping an eye on the specific requirements of ferry passengers.

The new ferry boats are expected to boost the departmental ferry service while minimizing the people’s dependence on private ferry service. One Roll-on-Roll-off (RoRo) vessel is also slated to be operational from October between Nematighat and Aphalamukh of Majuli which will facilitate movement of 8 loaded trucks and 200 passengers in a single trip.

Asserting that Majuil will no longer remain underdeveloped as all the new schemes of both the central and state governments will be implemented in the district, the chief minister said that Majuli will be connected with Jorhat and Lakhimpur with new bridges.

Speaking on the occasion, transport minister Chandra Mohan Patowary said that apart from the RoRo vessel to be launched in October, the state government is going to bring a cruise vessel amounting Rs 15 crore to Majuli for providing cruise services over Brahmaputra river. He also assured that the bridge connecting Majuli and Jorhat would be built once the DPR is completed by the South Korean firm entrusted with the work.

Earlier, another vessel for a new ferry service between Ahotguri and Misamora was inaugurated by the chief minister. Apart from these vessels, one Ramp Powered Lighter (RPL), which has been refurbished to carry large earth mover vehicles and dumpers to Majuli from Jorhat side, was also inaugurated by the chief minister.

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