GUWAHATI: There were no proposal for the construction of highway on both sides of the Brahmaputra River, union minister of road transport and highways Nitin Gadkari informed Rajya Sabha on Monday.
In 2017, Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal while launching a survey work has announced that the state government would soon start work on an 890-km Express Highway along the entire length of the Brahmaputra in the state from Sadiya in the east to Dhubri in the west, which in turn would also help arrest river-bank erosion.
Sonowal said his government had already sought support from the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and Ambassadors of several countries in recent weeks.
The state government’s official website also said that the construction of the express highways would start soon.
Gadkari in his reply said, “Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), an autonomous body, under Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways does maintenance dredging for shipping and navigation on National Waterways-2 (NW-2, River Brahmaputra). The dredging work is carried out on need basis for smooth navigation of vessels, particularly during the lean season (October to March) where width and depth of the navigation channel are less than targeted Available Depth (LAD).”
Earlier, CM Sonowal had said that the concept of an express highway along both banks of the Brahmaputra was conceived by Gadkari who suggested that silt dug out by dredging the river could be used for the construction of the express highway.