Transport Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary said, ‘We are deeply concerned with the plights of the inhabitants of Majuli and people of other parts of Assam for the non-functioning of Ro-Ro vessels operated by Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), Government of India.’
The Minister stated, ‘The Transport Department, Government of Assam is in constant touch with the Ministry of Shipping, Government of India and on the State’s request, Inland Waterways Authority of India, Ministry of Shipping will deliver Assam four new state-of-the-art “Ro-Pax” vessels – built by Cochin Shipyard Ltd.’
‘The vessels will be operated in the National Waterways Number 2 stretching from Dhubri – Sadiya. The vessels are already en-route from Kolkata to Guwahati via Bangladesh and have reached Hemnagar, West Bengal today’, added Patowary.
The new Ro-Pax vessels have a capacity of 200 passengers and along with these, can carry 2 trucks and 4 cars. These vessels have low draft, good maneuverability in comparison to the earlier Ro-Ro vessels which had less maneuverability due to bigger size and high draft for which it faced difficulty in plying over River Brahmaputra.
These Ro-Pax vessels will replace the earlier Ro-Ro vessels. Out of these four new Ro-Pax vessels, two vessels would be placed in Majuli, one in Guwahati and another one in Dhubri.