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IWAI team to visit Tripura tomorrow
Correspondent
 AGARTALA, Dec 23 - A four-member team of Inland Waterway Authority of India (IWAI) is scheduled to arrive here on December 25 to push the ambitious inland waterway project connecting Tripura’s Gomati river with Meghna in Bangladesh.

On December 26, the team would visit Sonamura in Sepahijala district to study various factors like depth of the river Gomati, its water flow, construction site for terminal building and jetty.

The IWAI team will return to the State capital and hold a meeting. The same evening the team would leave for Kolkata. “Everything depends on the outcome of the IWAI team visit”, said a senior official of State Water Resource department here on Sunday.

According to sources, IWAI may bring a strategic change in the proposed waterway project connecting Gomati river to Bangladesh’s Meghna river.

It was proposed that dredging would be done from Maharani (Udaipur) to Sonamura in order to connect Gomati river with Meghna. The project amounting to Rs 12.50 crore was submitted to the IWAI. Now, it has been learnt that dredging would be carried out from Sonamura to Dawadkandhi (Bangladesh) where the two rivers meet.

Currently goods are being ferried from Kolkata to Dawadkandhi by ships or steamers. Therefore, if dredging work is carried out from Somanura, it will be easier to open the proposed waterway. The distance from Sonamura to Dawadkandhi is around 80 km but the depth of water of Gomati up to Dawadkandhi is yet to be ascertained, which is a key factor for the ambitious waterway project.

A survey is required to ascertain the depth of river Gomati from Sonamura to Dawadkandhi before pushing the multi-crore rupees project which could be game changer in goods transportation system in the State.

As per the decision of a meeting between Union Minister for Shipping Nitin Gadkari and Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb in Delhi recently, dredging work is scheduled to begin next month.

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