The government has assured to offer minimum 2.5 m draft in the inland waterways via Indo- Bangaldesh Protocol (IBP) route for cargo movement to the north east when dredging is completed, an official Inland Waterways Authority of India said on Monday.
Dredging on the IBP route has already began and will be completed in the next two years.
The cargo potential on IBP route is 25 million tonne and the government has urged the industry to make greater use of the route, he said.
The official assured the industry of 2.5 m of draft for the entire stretch from Haldia to the north eastern ports of call.
The Centre will finance 80 per cent of the estimated cost of Rs 305.84 crore for dredging the Sirajganj-Daikhawa and Ashuganj-Zakiganj stretches of Bangladesh inland waterways on the IBP route.
The first ever containerised cargo movement via the IBP route and Brahmaputra river from Haldia port in West Bengal was flagged off by the union shipping secretary Gopal Krishna.
The vessel 'MV Maheshwari' carrying 53 containers of petrochemicals, edible oil and beverage will take 12-15 days to reach the IWAI terminal at Pandu in Guwahati.
The vessel will sail through national waterway-1 (Ganga river), NW-97 (the Sunderbans), IBP route and NW-2 (Brahmaputra river), the official said.
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