‘Waterways connectivity between Patna and Guwahati to open new gate to NE’

New Delhi, Feb 6 (IANS) Union Minister Piyush Goyal said on Saturday that the transportation of food grains through waterways will soon start from Patna to Pandu in Guwahati, ensuring better price and market access for the farmers.

“This 2,350 km voyage will open a new gate to the ‘Gateway of North East’ (Assam) and ensure seamless waterways connectivity to the northeastern region through Ganga and Brahmaputra rivers,” the minister said this while flagging of the vessel ‘MV Lal Bahadur Shastri’.

He said that flagging off this vessel reminded him of late former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri’s slogan, “Jai Jawan Jai Kisan”.

“This will make our farmers Aatmanirbhar by expanding their reach and providing them better prices and better living. This event is a perfect demonstration of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s combined vision for ‘Act East’ policy and the inclusive development of Bihar and the northeastern region,” said Goyal, who is the Union Minister of Commerce, Industry, Food and Public Distribution, at a virtual ceremony.

The minister stated that the planned intermodal terminal at Kalughat in Bihar at Rs 78 crore will provide a boost to the region’s socio-economic development and create multiple job opportunities.

“This will also help decongest the roads of north Bihar and provide an alternative route for transportation of cargo in this area. This route from Patna can prove to be a viable alternative to the conventional mode of movement of foodgrains and goods for the northeastern region.”

This first food grain movement will be an integrated Inland Water Transport movement through National Waterway-1 (river Ganga), NW-97 (Sunderbans), Indo-Bangladesh Protocol route and NW-2 (river Brahmaputra).

For seamless navigation to the northeast, two stretches of Indo-Bangladesh Protocol route are being developed.

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