Exporters from the landlocked Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan are now planning to use the Brahmaputra river system for transshipping their consignments to different parts of India and abroad.
Sources told Northeast Now that the Royal Government of Bhutan has written to New Delhi to allow the Bhutanese exporters to use the Pandu port at Guwahati, the largest and the oldest harbor of northeast India.
The port has been working as the main river port of the Brahmaputra valley since the British era. Before independence, jute and tea were mostly transported from the port to Kolkata and Chittagong. It acts as a natural river harbor, and is capable of handling container and passenger vessels.
A low level jetty is operational for berthing of vessels. Two shore cranes of 20 ton capacity and one container crane of 75 ton capacity and ones floating crane are placed at terminal for handling of the cargo.
Letho, Chief Executive Officer, Druk Satair Corporation Limited told Northeast Now that they are planning to use the river port for transporting Gypsum as it is going to be cheaper and environment-friendly.
The Bhutanese mining company has been mining Gypsum in Khothakpa in Eastern Bhutan, and has been exporting the mineral to different parts of India and Bangladesh. “It is going to be much easier for us to transport Gypsum through Pandu port,” Letho said.
The CEO said they are now trying to identify private barge operators to transport their Gypsum. At present, Gypsum from Bhutan is being transported to different parts of India on railway rakes, while consignments are being transported to Nepal and Bangladesh on trucks. Gypsum finds extensive use in cement, textile, paint, pottery and building industry.
Plaster of Paris is widely used in building industry as good finishing material. It is also used in hospitals for orthopedic treatment. High quality gypsum is used for producing medical quality calcined gypsum. Gypsum is also used in fertilizer industry.