Majuli gets ro-ro service

Sonowal flagged off the service from Kamalabari in Majuli for Neematighat in Jorhat district

By Vinod Kumar Singh in Dhemaji
  • Published 12.10.18, 12:27 AM
  • Updated 12.10.18, 12:27 AM
  • a min read
MV Bhupen Hazarika Telegraph picture

Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Thursday flagged off the roll on-roll off (ro-ro) boat service as a new chapter of connectivity in Majuli.

The traditional ferry service, which used to ply on the route, was very risky.

Sonowal flagged off the service from Kamalabari in Majuli for Neematighat in Jorhat district. It will cut down the circuitous road distance from 423km via Tezpur to 12.7km. The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) and state government will jointly run the service. The ro-ro service is where wheeled cargo such as cars, trucks and semi-trailer trucks are driven on and off the wagon to transport commodities, especially if road connectivity is disrupted.

Educationist Naba Pegu told The Telegraph, “A lot of tourists visit Majuli during this season. We used to face a lot of difficulties at this time but introduction of the ro-ro service will ease the journey.”

Lakhimpur MP Pradan Baruah, who was present at the inauguration, said during the festive season people used to cross the river with a lot of difficulty as the water level goes down and boats get stuck midway but the ro-ro boat service will be of great help to the passengers. He said the IWAI is also planning to introduce more such vessels.

The ro-ro service vessel, MV Bhupen Hazarika, with dimensions of 46.5m in length and 13.3m in width, has been procured at a cost of Rs 10 crore and has a carrying capacity of eight trucks or 25 small vehicles and more then 100 passengers at a time. The vessel can travel in minimum 3m depth of water.

The IWAI had introduced the ro-ro service between Dhubri and Hatsingimari earlier which reduced the travel distance by 190km. A permanent terminal was constructed in Dhubri. Floating terminals have been constructed at 11 locations along the Brahmaputra waterways. The terminals are at Hatsingimari, Dhubri, Jogigopha, Tezpur, Silghat, Biswanathghat, Neematighat, Sengajan, Bogibeel, Dibrugarh and Oriumghat, an official source said.