In a move to further bolster the connectivity issue in Majuli, Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) in collaboration with the Government of Assam will be starting a new Roll on-Roll off (Ro-Ro) facility for this river Island.
Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal will flag off the new Ro-Ro Service on Thursday. This Ro-Ro facility will cut down the circuitous road route of 423 KMs that trucks take from Neamati to Majuli Island via Tezpur Road Bridge, by limiting the distance to only 12.7 KM with the use of river route.
IWAI has procured a new vessel MV Bhupen Hazarika at a cost of Rs 9.46 crore for the new service and is providing the needed terminal infrastructure too. The 46.5-metre-long, 13.3-metre-wide vessel has the carrying capacity of eight trucks and 100 passengers. IWAI is also planning to procure more such Ro-Ro vessels for use on river Brahmaputra.
Majuli is one of the biggest riverine islands in the world located on river Brahmaputra and faces serious challenges of connectivity. It has 144 villages with a population of over 1,50,000.
The commencement of Ro-Ro services to Majuli island would be a landmark event towards augmenting connectivity not only in Assam but the entire North Eastern Region.
Earlier, IWAI had started a similar Ro-Ro service between Dhubri and Hatsingimari which reduced the travel distance by 190 KMs. A permanent Ro-Ro terminal was constructed at Dhubri for the purpose. Floating terminals have also been constructed at 11 locations along the length of the Brahmaputra waterway. These are at Hatsingimari, Dhubri, Jogighopa, Tezpur, Silghat, Biswanathghat, Neamati, Sengajan, Bogibeel, Dibugarh, Oakland and Oriumghat.