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Panel miffed with slow pace of work on Dhubri port

- Only boundary walls erected around terminus building
Construction in progress at the international river port in Dhubri. Telegraph picture

Dhubri, July 9: The Dhubri International River Port Demand Committee expressed deep resentment over the slow pace of work of the river terminus at Dhubri.

It was almost seven years since land had been acquired and only the boundary walls have been completed so far.

A source in the committee said Rs 38 crore was released in February this year by the Centre to expedite the work of the river terminus at Dhubri international river port, at Free India Ghat of the town, but work was reportedly being done at snail’s pace.

Dhubri river port is one of the four ports of call of the country, as ships touch the Dhubri port first after crossing the international river territory and enter the Brahmaputra, National Waterway 2 and move upstream.

Earlier, largescale trade and business was carried out through this river route but it was closed after 1965.

However, it was reopened for shipment of heavy machinery of Numaligarh Refinery and other companies in the 90s but commercial cargo services are yet to be introduced because of lack of facilities at Dhubri terminus, said Tazmul Haque, one of the conveners of the committee.

Haque said it was the result of the tireless effort by the committee and the people of Dhubri and Cooch Behar district of Bengal that the river port was being modernised.

“Under the leadership of late Chandi Paul, who was one of the conveners of the committee, Dispur and Delhi had to concede to the demand to revive the river port at Dhubri, which was closed in 1965,” he said.

Haque lamented the delay in modernising of the river port despite sanction of necessary funds.

However, when contacted, an officer in-charge of the terminus, R.K. Singh Solanki, said a lot of work at the terminus has been completed, including installation of global positioning system (GPS), and rest of the work was being done.

On the other hand, a senior member of the New Moinaguri-Jogighopa New Railway Line Demand Committee, Tripatha Nath Chakraborty, expressed happiness over the allocation of Rs 400 crore for the railway project from Gauripur to Jogighopa, which was announced in yesterday’s railway budget.

“An amount of Rs 5,116 crore was allocated for 23 railway projects in the Northeast, including a new railway line from Gauripur to Jogighopa in lower Assam, work of which was stalled in 2012 because of non-sanctioning of funds. We hope that with this allocated amount, the rest of the work will be completed soon,” Chakraborty said.