According to an official statement the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), Sagarmala Development Company Limited (SDCL), Assam Tourism Development Corporation Limited (ATDC), and Directorate of Inland Water Transport (DIWT) Assam will sign a Memorandum of Understanding for the ‘Riverine-based Tourism Circuit’ being developed over the river Brahmaputra in Guwahati.
According to an official press release, “Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways (MoPSW) is committed to developing Inland Waterways. In this line, an MoU for ‘Riverine based tourism Circuit’ being developed over the river Brahmaputra will be signed between Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), Sagarmala Development Company Limited (SDCL), Assam Tourism Development Corporation Limited (ATDC) and Directorate of Inland Water Transport (DIWT) Assam in Guwahati on 19th May 2023. The signing ceremony will take place in August presence of Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma, Chief Minister of Assam, and Shri Sarbananda Sonowal, Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways, and Ayush, Government of India.”
It further said,” The project is being developed under the Sagarmala Programme at an initial cost of Rs.40-45 crores. SDCL and IWAI will jointly contribute 55% of the project cost while the remaining will be provided by ATDC. DIWT has consented to provide the usage of Ghats near the temples free of cost for the project.”
The press release also stated that” This Sagarmala project will connect the seven historic temples namely Kamakhya, Pandunath, Ashwaklanta, Doul Govinda, Umananda, Chakreshwar, and Auniati Satra situated in Guwahati. The circuit will sail from Hanuman Ghat, Uzan Bazar, and will complete its journey by covering all the above-mentioned temples through waterways. The ferry service is expected to reduce the overall travel time to less than 2 hours for completing one complete circuit.”
On the other hand, in 2022 Union minister Sarbananda Sonowal said on that work on national waterways along the Brahmaputra and Barak rivers has begun, and cargo and passenger ships from Assam and the northeast will be connected to Haldia in West Bengal via Bangladesh. Speaking at the ‘Brahmaputra River Conclave’ at the Northeast Festival, he stated that the objective behind refurbishing national rivers as a method of communication is transformation through transportation.