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New Delhi : Union Minister for Ports, Shipping & Waterways and Ayush Sarbananda Sonowal on January 3, 2022, announced that the contract has been awarded for Haldia inland waterway terminal, and the jetty will be soon operational for sending exim and inland cargo to Pandu terminal at Guwahati, Assam, connecting the northeast with kolkata via National waterway 2.

This will provide an alternative to chicken neck route for easy and cost effective movement of cargo to and from northeast to the foreign countries and other states of India.

Sonowal interacted with various stakeholders of port and shipping industry of Kolkata and Haldia port. Major oil PSUs , steel companies like Tata steel and SAIL, terminal operators, shipping lines, barge operators, custom clearing agents, and land users of Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port participated at the meeting. The minister invited all of them to be a partner in this unique opportunity of using sea and river route combination (NW1 and NW2) via Kolkata port, according to a PIB release.

Sonowal also informed that depth assurance contract have been awarded to maintain NW1 and 2, and the barge operators shall soon start using these waterways as depths are assured. The minister also said that there is thinking to provide guarantee to banks to give easy and soft funds for barges so that this sector can take off. The stakeholders assured that they will come forward to utilise this opportunity to make this mission a success . More then 40 key players participated at the stakeholders conference.