Inland Waterways

[pib] Assam Inland Water Transport Project

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Assam Inland Water Transport Project

Mains level : Inland water transport in India

India and the World Bank signed a loan agreement of $88 million for Assam Inland Water Transport Project.

Assam Inland Water Transport Project

  • A majority of Assam’s more than 361 ferry routes cross the Brahmaputra or serve its islands, providing a crucial means of transport to thousands of commuters in both the urban and rural areas of the Brahmaputra Valley.
  • The project will draw guidance from ‘working with nature’ principles that aim to design new infrastructure or rehabilitate existing infrastructure in a way that works with natural river processes.
  • The terminals will have better access, lighting and signage while the new vessels will allow for individual seats, and separate toilets. Moreover, a strengthened regulatory regime will ensure reduction in overloading, adherence to time schedule and better crew standards.
  • The Project will help Assam improve the passenger ferry infrastructure and its services and strengthen the capacity of the institutions running the inland water transport.

Significance

  • Inland Water Transport is also a more sustainable mode of transport. And Assam has the largest network of navigable waterways in India.
  • It provides low-carbon and low-cost options when compared to the cost of constructing and maintaining flood-resilient roads and bridges across the long stretches of the Brahmaputra river.
  • Technically better-designed terminals and energy-efficient vessels (both new and retrofitted) will make the ferry services more sustainable with least disruption to nature.
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