The Central government, Assam government and the World Bank signed a loan agreement of $88 million in New Delhi on Thursday to modernise passenger ferry sector of Assam. It is likely to support the Assam government’s efforts to corporatise its own ferry activities.
“Technically better-designed terminals and energy-efficient vessels (both new and retrofitted) will make the ferry services more sustainable with least disruption to nature,” a Finance Ministry release said. Over 361 ferry routes cross the Brahmaputra or serve its islands, which provide a crucial means of transport to thousands of commuters in both the urban and rural areas of the Brahmaputra Valley.
Now, strengthening the capacity of institutions running the inland water transport the Assam Inland Water Transport Project (AIWTP) will help Assam improve the passenger ferry infrastructure and its services.