He added that work is underway to implement the Kaladan multimodal project that will make it possible for ships to move from Northeast India to Southeast Asia.
Sonowal, speaking to media in Guwahati on Sunday, said the ministry has already begun dredging work at critical points in the river. The government of Bangladesh, with the support of the government of India, is also working on the Jamuna River to make the 2,000 km long waterway from Sadiya to Haldia via Bangladesh a smooth step.
He added: “Dredging is an ongoing process and dredging of rivers along the Bangladesh side has begun.”
In order to integrate the Northeast experience to make dredging a sustainable and economically viable proposal, the minister also indicated that the support of experts from Tezpur University, IIT Guwahati and IIM Shillong will be crucial. The potential of Brahmaputra and other northeastern rivers is huge and people will benefit directly from the development of river tourism, freight transportation and alternative economic transportation.
Sonowal said work is underway to connect Aizawl to Mizoram with a road from Kaladan port.
Kaladan multimodal transportation project is delayed. The project involves improving the port of Sittwe that connects Paletwa in the Chinese state of Myanmar with Mizoram. progressed. The real challenge was to take it to the waterway and we found that navigability was much more difficult than the studies had indicated. ”
When asked if there were political reasons for the project’s delay, as Myanmar is under military rule, he said: “There are many challenges and we will overcome them.”
The minister said the northeast region will play a critical role in reviving India’s economic prosperity. In order to provide a springboard for the region to act as a catalyst for India’s economic recovery, efforts have been made to build waterways in the region and connect it with the major ports in the Bay of Bengal. This will not only unlock the economic potential of the region, but will allow the landlocked region direct access to international trade routes.
The minister said the government is working tirelessly to connect Mizoram, Tripura and Assam with strategic ports in Myanmar (port of Sittwe) and Bangladesh (ports of Mongolia and Chittongong).