Haldia-Farakka waterways to receive revamped look
Kolkata: The state Transport department is going to a take up a major project to give a new dimension to the waterways transport facility from Haldia to Farakka.
The project will be funded by the World Bank and all necessary clearances for the project have been given by said departments of the state government and the Centre. If everything goes as planned, the Rs 3500 crore World Bank project will commence in 2018-19 financial year. Suvendu Adhikari, the state Transport minister, said: "I am hopeful that the first phase of the work can begin in 2018-19 financial year with the assistance of the World Bank."
It may be mentioned that in the first phase, development will be carried out from Haldia to Guptipara and the World Bank will be providing Rs 1100 crore to carry out the work from Haldia to Farakka.
"This is a major project and it is going to change the dimension of waterways transport in the region," Adhikari maintained.
All the said departments of the state and the Centre have agreed that it is a good project and apart from improving the waterways transport facility, it will help in boosting the region's tourism sector.
Moreover, the facility of transporting goods will improve.
Emphasis will be given on operation of ro-ro service. A massive step to modernise the existing jetties and to introduce new ones will also be carried out. It is learnt that state-of-the-art shelters for tourists will be developed at vital locations along the river and more of such infrastructure will be developed to boost the state's tourism sector.
It may be mentioned that the state Transport department has decided to take steps to ensure the safety and security of passengers who need to avail semi-mechanised boats to go across the river.
The state government has already announced "Jalodhara" project to replace the semi-mechanised boats with a properly designed one. Under the project the state government is providing a financial assistance of Rs 1 lakh for converting each of the semi-mechanised boats. Experts have also prepared a design that can be followed to develop the the new vessels.