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For modernisation of the Assam’s passenger ferry services on the Brahmaputra and other rivers, the World Bank has approved a loan of Rs 630-crore to the Assam Inland Water Transport (AIWT).

“Under AIWT project, the infrastructure of passenger ferry services will be improved,” an official statement said on Friday.

“The capacity of institutions running the inland water transport will be strengthened,” the statement added.

“Better-designed terminals and energy-efficient vessels will make the ferry services more sustainable with least disruption to nature,” the statement further said.

The total cost of the project is Rs 770 crore, of which the World Bank will provide Rs 630 crore.

The loan was signed between AIWTP and the Country Director, India, World Bank in presence of Additional Secretary (FB&ADB), Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Government of India in New Delhi.

The project aims to improve the infrastructure of ferry services and focus on the safety of women passengers.

The terminals will have better access, lighting and signages, while the new vessels will be equipped with individual seats and washroom facilities.

A strengthened regulatory regime will ensure reduced overloading, adherence to time schedule and better crew standards.

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