Sarbananda Sonowal, the Union Minister for Ports, Shipping, and Waterways, stated on Tuesday that India’s waterways can help the country create strong business ties with its neighbours.
Sonowal asked industry leaders to proactively work with the government in the water channels sector and contribute to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat, speaking at the inaugural session of the Waterways Conclave- 2022 in Dibrugarh.
“Within a radius of 2,000 km, we have all big cities with a combined population of 800 million. Water channels could provide the greatest opportunities for our young entrepreneurs,” Sonowal explained.
Industry Leaders supporting waterways
According to Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, the state is undertaking the Rs 770 crore Assam Inland Water Transport project to provide passengers with safe and convenient ferry services.
In addition, he said, “Regular movement of cargo through water channels would create job opportunities and open the international market for local products through cost-effective transport.”
Meanwhile, according to Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari, waterways are the most cost-effective mode of transportation when compared to roads and trains.
Further, according to DoNER minister G Kishan Reddy, water channels will be crucial in realising the potential of the northeast’s enormous natural resources.