Centre granted 25 inland waterways projects worth Rs 1100 crore in NE: Sonowal

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Guwahati, Nov 21 (PTI) Union minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Tuesday said more than Rs 1100 crore was granted for the development of 25 inland waterways projects in the Northeast region.

Sonowal, the Union Minister for Ports, Shipping, Waterways and Ayush directed officials to accord top priority to critical projects of his ministries in the Northeast and ensure their completion by January 2024.

The minister was chairing a review meeting here of ongoing projects of his ministries in the northeastern region.

Of the 25 inland waterways projects in the region, 15 programmes worth Rs 850 crore were granted for Assam, Sonowal said.

He directed the officials to complete the seven floating jetties at Jogighopa, Pandu, Biswanath, Nimati, Bindhakata, Uriamghat and Sadiya in Assam.

In addition, permanent jetties at Bogibeel in Dibrugarh, and renovation of a jetty at Badarpur in Karimganj would also be completed while one permanent jetty being constructed at Sonamura in Tripura was also likely to be completed within the timeframe, he said.

The minister also reviewed the progress of work on 15 floating jetties in the Brahmaputra and 15 jetties in the Barak river.

He also directed officials of the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) to regularly dredge 88 identified shallow passages on the Brahmaputra river to ensure smooth passage of ships.

Taking Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of ''Transformation via Transportation forward, we have identified critical projects in the region that will be operational by January 2024,'' he added.

The Ministry of Ayush is currently implementing projects worth Rs 286 crore across the Northeast and the Union Minister directed the Ayush officials to scale up and speed up the projects.

The foundation stone laying ceremony of a Yoga and Naturopathy hospital worth Rs 80.66 crores in Dibrugarh and for the new building of the Regional Research Institute of Homoeopathy and integrated Ayush Wellness Centre at Guwahati worth Rs 34.33 crores will be done by January 2024.

The minister also directed that the several buildings at Central Ayurveda Research Institute (CARI) in Guwahati, with an investment of Rs 10.45 crores, be completed soon so that it can be inaugurated by December 2023.

"Ayush is a major area of interest for our government led by the Prime Minister and the Northeast has a rich potential in this sector. Out of at least nine construction projects currently undergoing in the region, we expect concrete movement in these three projects,'' he added.

Out of the total 830 approved Ayush Health and Wellness centres in the region, 495 have become operational. Of the 33 integrated Ayush hospitals approved in the region, nine are already functional, Sonowal said.

A total of eight Ayush education undergraduate and postgraduate institutions are being supported by the Ayush Ministry while three new Ayush institutes in Sikkim’s Gangtok, Keirao in Manipur and Assam’s Dudhnoi have been also approved. PTI DG NN

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