Majuli: – Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, ‘The Brahmaputra is not only a river but an origin of diversity, culture and peaceful co-existence. The amount of work that should have been carried out on the Brahmaputra regarding connectivity has not been done. The connectivity with northern and eastern Assam has not been established properly in so many years. But now, with the blessings of Brahmaputra, which is a Mahabahu, work is expeditiously being carried out in that direction. Today is a historic day for northeastern India, along with Assam’.
The program initiated by the government to improve connectivity on the Brahmaputra is named Mhahabahu Brahmaputra. The Prime Minister performed the inauguration and the foundation stone laying of various connectivity projects on the Brahmaputra on Thursday. Under the Mahabahu Brahmaputra project, stress will be given to improve connectivity by building waterways, ports and bridges. While starting the project, the Prime Minister inaugurated the Nimati-Majuli, north and south Guwahati and Dhubri-Hatsingimari Ro-Pax ship services. With this, Assam becomes the leading state in the country to improve connectivity with Ro-Pax services. The foundation stone was also laid at four locations on the Brahmaputra for tourist jetties, along with Inland Water Transport Terminal in Jogighopa. The Prime Minister also laid the foundation stone for the Dhubri-Phulbari and Majuli bridges via a virtual program. The Prime Minister also inaugurated the Digital Problem-Solving System to provide impetus to trade and investment. This will increase the ease of doing business in this region.
The three Ro-Pax services started will reduce the distance between Nimati and Majuli to 12 kilometres from 420 kilometres. The distance between north and south Guwahati will be reduced from 40 kilometres to 3 kilometres, and the distance between Dhubri and Hatsingimari will be reduced to a mere 28 kilometres from 220 kilometres. Many small and big industries in Assam will benefit from these new waterway connectivity projects. The time taken for transportation of goods will be considerably lessened.
A cornerstone of the eight kilometres long bridge connecting Jorhat through the Kalibai ghat was also laid. The bridge, once completed, will become a lifeline for the residents of Majuli. A 19-kilometre long bridge also is proposed to be built from Dhubri to Phulbari in Meghalaya. The Prime Minister underlined that this would reduce the distance between Assam and Meghalaya, and the connectivity through the Barak ghat will become stronger. This will reduce the distance between Assam and Meghalaya from 100 kilometres to 19-20 kilometres. Prime Minister Modi pointed out that this bridge will prove vital not only for domestic transportation but also for connectivity with the neighbouring countries.
Meanwhile, only two days ago, Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar and Satoshi Suzuki, the Japanese Ambassador to India, had visited Assam. At this time, Foreign Minister Jaishankar, while underlining the importance of development in Assam, expressed confidence that Assam will act as a springboard for the Indian Act East policy. The Indian government is stressing on the development of the northeastern states. Work on many roads, bridges, railways and waterways is being carried out. Bangladesh, Myanmar, Bhutan and China share their borders with these northeastern states. Therefore, this development is considered necessary also from the country’s security point of view. Many projects will contribute to a faster movement of the Indian Army to the Chinese border. Analysts claim that even China is upset with these Indian initiatives. Against this background, the importance of the Mahabahu Brahmaputra project is underlined.