Union roads, highways and shipping minister Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday (April 4) said the central government will dredge the Brahmaputra river from Sadia in Assam to Chittagong port in Bangladesh, for which necessary formalities with the Bangladesh government have been completed.
While reviewing the progress of several projects under the water resources department in Guwahati, Gadkari said the Brahmaputra National Waterway-II will have direct access to Chittagong port of Bangladesh, Haldia port of West Bengal and consequently will boost trade with the Southeast Asian nations.
The minister said the government will provide funds for the development of 56 jetties on the banks of Brahmaputra and operationalize five more Roll-On and Roll-Off (RoRo) vessels to improve waterway communication in the state.
Gadkari asked the state government to identify places on the banks of Brahmaputra which can be developed into ports and submit their feasibility report to the Union ministry.
The minister reviewed the progress of several projects related to construction of Brahmaputra Express Highway and national waterways in the Brahmaputra river in a high-level meeting attended by Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal and several state ministers at Brahmaputra state guest house in Guwahati.
The Union minister said at least 2,000 km of the state roads will be converted into national highways and five logistic parks will be constructed in the state to decongest important towns.
“Already conversion of 2,000 km of state roads into national highways has been approved by the Union government. Detail Project Report of 23 projects falling within the stretch of 1,253 km has been completed and work for the same will start soon,” Gadkari added.
Gadkari said the Guwahati bypass from Khanapara to Jalukbari will be converted into a six-lane highway.
“Similarly, logistic parks alongside national highways where land is available will be constructed to shift the godowns to ease out congestion in important city and town areas. Five such logistic parks will be constructed in the state,” he added.
The Union minister advised the state government to overhaul the functioning of the Public Works Department to bring in more transparency into the department.