Ferry travel time rises

Guwahati: The inland water transport department said on Wednesday that the speed of boats and ferries on the Brahmaputra has been reduced by 10 per cent owing to its increased turbidity.

"The increase in turbidity has led to the transportation time on the Brahmaputra to rise by around 10 per cent. If it continues to increase, it might tell on our finances because of the rise in fuel consumption," IWT director Bharat Bhusan Dev Choudhury said.

Assistant executive engineer Manish Rajkhowa said, "Usually, the Brahmaputra is very clear at this time of the year despite the decrease in water level. Now the water level has not only decreased but turbidity has also increased, restricting smooth flow of boats. If a ferry took 30 minutes earlier to cross the river, the time has now increased by at least six minutes. This also increases the fuel consumption, which is around half-a-litre of diesel."

Diesel costs Rs 60.94 per litre.

The IWT operates 102 ferries across the Brahmaputra in the state.

In order to minimise health risks, the department has been supplying purified drinking water to those who travel long distances on ferry and boat.

The IWT has also directed its officials to keep watch on the changing condition of the water in the Brahmaputra. "Our officials are engaged round-the-clock. We have directed them to keep constant watch on the water quality," Choudhury said.


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