“853 single engine boats to be fitted with marine engine”: CM Sarma
Guwahati: Assam government has adopted a Rs. 90 crore scheme to make inland water transport system safer and secured for passengers. Under this scheme, steps are being taken to convert 853 single engine boats that ply in the Brahmaputra to marine engine boats at the expense of the state government.
State’s chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma informed that within this week, seven marine engines would be fitted in the ferries that ply in the Brahmaputra at Dhubri. Similarly, steps have been taken to procure marine engines for the local ferries that ply between Nimatighat and Majuli.
The state government has also decided to procure 5 Ro-Pax vessels, Sarma said adding that these vessels would be pressed into service at Majuli, Dhubri and North Guwahati to ease out passenger movement.
The chief minister further said that trainings are being imparted for boat owners, crew members about safety measures for the plying of boats besides conducting fitness test of the boats.
He said that as a result of the expeditious measures taken by the IWT department in last one week, ferry services have received a major boost.
On Friday, with a view to improve institutional framework for water transport and develop ferry services for the people, Sarma flagged off five vessels under the World Bank funded “Assam IWT Project” at LachitGhat in Guwahati.
Out of these vessels, three nos. of Steel catamaran vessels, namely MV Lohitwill ply between Nimatighat and Kamalabari, MV Sonai from Guwahati to Kuruwa and MV Pratima (dedicated to renowned folk singer Pratima Baruah Pandey) at Dhubri Ferry Service.
These vessels are powered with 180 HP twin engines and have advance equipment such as control & monitoring, communication and navigation, GPS, eco sounder, wind measurement, life saving and fire fighting equipment.
Other two vessels flagged off will be deployed to enforce the SOP (rules & regulations) issued recently to improve ferry service and passenger safety and to monitor movement of vessels in river Brahmaputra.