India has flagged off a ship of the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) carrying stones from Bhutan to be delivered in Bangladesh.
The ship 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 the two countries.The transportation will save 30% cost and eight-ten days of time.
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.
Indian Government is also taking various initiatives to increase the use of Inland Waterways and Coastal Shipping for greater cargo shipment. These include (a)providing assured depth of water in the channels (b)navigation aids like GPS and River Information System (c)terminals at regular intervals among others.
The IWAI was established in 1986 for development and regulation of inland waterways for shipping and navigation.
The Authority primarily undertakes projects for development and maintenance of IW infrastructure on national waterways through grant received from Ministry of Shipping.