Agartala, India (Urban Transport News): The Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways and Ayush, Sarbananda Sonowal, along with Dr. Manik Saha, Chief Minister, Tripura jointly inaugurated the School of Logistics, Waterways and Communication on 13th January 2023.
"The school will enable the rich pool of talent of the region to become world class experts in the transportation and logistics sector. In order to unlock the promised economic potential of the Northeast, the school will be enable the innate capacity of human resources along our opulent waterways," said Sonowal.
The Centre for Logistic, Communication and Waterways would facilitate in conducting studies/research, training, workshops/seminars for stakeholders like businesses, exporters/importers, Chambers of Commerce and Industries, local entrepreneurs, tourist operators etc. It has been set up under State Institute of Public Administration and Rural Development (SIPARD). SIPARD is an autonomous body funded by the Government of Tripura and partially by the Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India.
Speaking on the potential of waterways as an avenue of economic progress of the Northeast, Sonowal said, “Under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the government has been taking all the necessary steps to power the engine of the new India; i.e., our beautiful northeast, reach its maximum potential. As per Modi’s vision, our Ministry of Ports, Shipping & Waterways has been working towards reviving our complex inland waterways system in order to propel cargo and passenger transport in the region. Apart from being a swift, clean & affordable means of transport, this opens a new ray of hope for growth of trade with the international market. The deeper, longer & wider network inland waterways will not only decongest and reduce carbon footprints, but has the potential to generate significant economic activities and boost international trade in the region.”
In order to comprehensively development National Waterways (NW) 16 (Barak) and the IBP Route nos. 5 & 6 and 9 & 10, for smooth connectivity within & from the region, the investment to this effect has now been enhanced to Rs 148 crores till 2024-25. Under the PM Gati Shakti initiative, multi-modal connectivity, Tripura is to be connected through IBP route 9 & 10 with Kolkata/Haldia Port and then on to Chittagong Port in Bangladesh & Sittwe Port in Myanmar.
In order to revamp the international trade between the Northeast India and Bangladesh, the waterways play a crucial role, said Sonowal. The two countries have renewed and strengthened the Indo-Bangladesh Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade that outlines new measures to facilitate the inland water trade, develop infrastructure and improve cross-country transport and logistics facilities. In addition to the existing 6 ports of call, five additional ports of call and two extended ports of call on each side has been agreed along with a longer period of 5 years (against the 2 year validity earlier) for protocol renewal. The Government of India is providing financial assistance under the Central Sector Scheme for development of Inland Waterway in the Northeast including Tripura.