Guwahati /Mumbai : While the available waterways in the country are explored for their use for transportation, Indian Army also mulls on using waterways to transport military cargo. Indian army is planning to transport military equipment through Brahmaputra basin to north east region near the India-China border as an alternate to the otherwise treacherous roads currently used. Lately China tried to restrict the water flow of Brahmaputra river into India by building a dam and as speculated in the recent report, China is planning to divert the water elsewhere by building a 1000Km tunnel. Meanwhile Indian Army is deciding to use Brahmaputra river to transport military equipment.
Indian Military and Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) collectively have started the survey of waterways from Bogibeel Ghats near Dibrugarh, Sadiya on the east to Dhubri on the west along 891 Km long patch on Brahmaputra river. This survey is undertaken to study the use of river for transporting military equipment through Brahmaputra. A feasibility study to assess the basic infrastructure needed to use inland waterways is been carried out. “This survey aims at identifying the requirement of additional infrastructure to facilitate large-scale movement of both commercial and military cargo through the Brahmaputra,” Defence Public Relation Officer Lt Colonel Suneet Newton said.
Major General Balraj Mehta, General Officer Commanding the Jorhat based Sub Area of Indian Army Jorhat’s sub area’s Chief and Shashi Bhushan Shukla Secretary IWAI have jointly supervised the survey. Many area and sections of Brahmaputra will be visited.
Soon a report is expected to be presented on survey along with recommendations on upgradation of infrastructure for movement of commercial goods, passengers and military cargo, apart from identifying new locations for setting up permanent terminals with road and rail connectivity which can be used both for commercial and defence purposes.
The survey is expected to be completed by 17th November and the report is expected to be submitted by the end of December.
Meanwhile along with the existing options of roads, railways, and airways now waterways shall also be used for commuting to Goa. Goa-Mumbai ferry boat service shall start in December as stated Nitin Gadkari, Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping.
During 60-70’s decade ferry boat service was available on Konkan coastline from Panjim to Mumbai. The passengers then preferred the waterways than roadways. In 1994 Damania Shipping had started ferry boat service between Mumbai and Goa however later the service was closed. But now this service will be restarted.