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For the first time ever, an indian waterway is being used for transport of cargo between two countries

Newdelhi:12/7/19:In a first ever movement of its kind, Shri Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister of State for Shipping (Independent Charge) and Chemical & Fertilizers, today digitally  flagged-off a ship of the Inland Waterways Authority of India, carrying stone from Bhutan to be delivered in Bangladesh. The ship – MV AAI – has set sail from Dhubri in Assam and will travel to Narayanganj in Bangladesh, over river Brahmaputra and the Indo Bangladesh Protocol Route. This is the first time an Indian waterway is being used as a channel for transport of cargo between two countries, using India for transit.

The stone aggregates were transported by trucks from Phuentsholing in Bhutan which is 160 KMs from IWAI’s Dhubri jetty in Assam. Till now, Bhutan has been exporting significant quantity of stone aggregates to Bangladesh through the land route. The ship is carrying 1000 MT of stones – 70 trucks would be required to transport the same cargo by road.

Speaking on this occasion Shri Mandaviyasaid that the development is a historic one, taking ahead the vision of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to promote cargo transportation through inland waterways . He said the move  will be beneficial to India as well as Bhutan and Bangladesh, and strengthen relations between the neighbouring countries.  He said transport of cargothroughthis route willcut short travel time by 8 to 10 days, and reduce transportation cost by 30%, bringing down logistics costs. It will also be a more environment friendly mode of transport. Shri Mandaviyafurther  said that this new development will not only strengthen our ties with our neighbouring countries, but will also open up an alternate route to our  North Eastern states, making it easier and cheaper to reach goods to these places from other parts of the country.

Shri Pravir Pandey, Chairman IWAI informed that capital dredging has been carried out to maintain an assured draft in the navigation channel. Maintenance dredging will be carried out as required. He further informed that at least 10 other National Waterways are under development currently.The Government is also taking various initiatives to increase the use of Inland Waterways and Coastal Shipping for greater cargo shipment.

These include providing assured depth of water in the channels, navigation aids like GPS and River Information System, terminals at regular intervals, facilities for mechanized handling of cargo handling etc.A minimum 40 % discount and priority in berthing is being given to coastal vessels at major ports. Licensing relaxations have been made under section 406 and 407 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1958 for fertilizers, agricultural products, fisheries, horticultural, and animal husbandry products, empty containers and containers being transhipped from another Indian port, special vessels such as Ro-Ro, Ro-Pax, Project cargo/ODC.

About Editor in chief

Ashok Palit has completed his graduation from Upendranath College Soro, Balasore and post graduation from Utkal University in Odia Language and literture.. He has also carved out a niche for himself as a scribe of eminence after joining the profession in 1988. He is also an independent media production professional. He brings loads of experience to Advanced Media, Ashok Palit as a cineaste has been active in film criticism for over three decades. As a film society activist, he soared to eminence for his profound commitment to the art film appreciation and aesthetics of cinema. His mode of discourse is often erudite but always lucid and comprehensible marked by a perfect acumen so rare in the field. A film aesthete with an immense fond of critical sensibilities, he wrote about growth and development of odia cinema in New Indian Express, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Asian Age and Screen. He has been working as an Editor for Cine Samaya from 2002-2004.. He had made solid contribution on cinema in many odia Dailies and weekly such as Samaj, Prajatantra, Dharatri, Samaya, Satabadi, and weekly Samaya.

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