Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, on 17 September, inaugurated 5 new ships at Lachit Ghat in Fancy Bazaar in Guwahati. Among the five ships the chief minister inaugurated, two ships are designated for rescuing and the other three ships for carrying passengers.
These ships will serve the location from Guwahati to Kuruwa, Nimatighat to Kamalabari and some other one to Dhubri under Inland Water Transport. The rescue ships will offer carriers in Guwahati and Majuli.
The newly launched ships are named as MV Sonai, MV Lohit, MV Pratima, SDB Vikrant and SDB Vishal.
Plans to purchase additional 5 Ro-pax ships
While inaugurating the new ships, CM Sarma stated that the nation authorities will purchase any another five Ro-pax ships and will offer economic help of Rs. 90 Crore for double engine ferries. He additionally stated that a fitness examination of the ferries may also be conducted.
Subsequently, he added that there are sufficient personnel at IWT and all must work sincerely so that the water transport department can progress and the repairing works of the ferries will be performed at Pandu.
What led the state to take such steps?
The steps taken by the Assam CM are due to the recent collision of two passenger boats that led to multiple deaths. The tragic accident happened on September 8 when a private boat ‘Ma Kamala’ was headed into Majuli from Nimati Ghat and the government-owned ferry ‘Tripkai’ was returning from the riverine island.
Both the Centre and the state authorities are dedicated to finish a bridge over the Brahmaputra river, connecting Majuli and Jorhat, within 4 years and are working together to meet the task as stated by Union minister Sarbanand Sonowal on September 10.
CM’s elated tweet
Taking to his Twitter handle, the Chief Minister wrote, “Pleased to have flagged off 5 IWT vessels to be pressed into service in Guwahati, Dhubri & Majuli. It will improve institutional framework for water transport & develop ferry services, in view of discontinuation of single-engine ferry services following the #Nimatighat accident