Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma (2nd left) and Union minister of ports, shipping and waterways Sarbananda Sonowal (2nd right) during the conclave in Dibrugarh on April 12 | CMO

Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma lauded the Union ministry of ports, shipping and waterways for conducting ‘Waterways Conclave 2022’ in the state.

Attending the event in Dibrugarh, CM termed the conclave a significant step towards boosting regional connectivity which in turn would push economic growth and generate employment opportunities for youths of the region.

Sarma stated that improvement in waterways connectivity would bring down logistic costs of business entities and manufacturing units in the region, which in turn would make products made in the northeast more competitive in the market.

Sarma, praising the prime minister’s motto of “transformation through transportation,” said that the long-neglected waterways of the region have got a new impetus that has begun to bear fruits in recent times.

“Only recently, cargo vessel carrying the first consignment of 200 metric tons of food grain from Patna and another vessel with a consignment of 1800 steel products from Haldia sailing through the Indo-Bangladesh Protocol route covering a distance of 2350 km over river Ganga and the Brahmaputra arrived at Pandu Port,” the chief minister stated, adding: “This was historic and the beginning of a new journey in the economic growth of the entire Northeastern region.”

Sarma also spoke about the immense potential waterways hold in alleviating the transportation woes of the region-owing to difficult terrain – while at the same time providing a less polluting means of commutation, thereby contributing to the country’s commitment towards mitigation of global warming.

Union minister of transport Nitin Gadkari, speaking through remote conferencing, urged all stakeholders to make the best use of the Centre’s initiatives in general and the prime minister’s personal involvement aimed at the economic development of the Northeast. The union minister urged all stakeholders to contribute to the economic growth of the northeastern region by indulging in trade through waterways with neighbouring countries such as Bangladesh.

Union petroleum minister Rameswar Teli, Assam industries and commerce minister Chandramohan Patowary, Union minister of state for external affairs Rajkumar Ranjan, Manipur cabinet minister Awangbow Newmai and Bhutan economic affairs minister Loknath Sharma also spoke on the occasion.

Union minister of DoNER G Kishan Reddy, Union communication minister Ashwini Vaishnav, and Bangladesh minister of shipping Khalid Mohammed Choudhury too spoke through video conferencing.

Union minister of ports, shipping and waterways Sarbananda Sonowal, Assam power minister Bimal Bora, Mangaldai MP Dilip Saikia, MLA Terash Gowala and Taranga Gogoi among others, were also present in the conclave.

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