Context: 

Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) will be starting a new Roll on-Roll off (Ro-Ro) facility in collaboration with the Government of Assam to provide the much-needed connectivity for Majuli Island.

Benefits:

This Ro-Ro facility will cut down the circuitous road route of 423 KMs that trucks take from Neamati to Majuli Island via Tezpur Road Bridge, by limiting the distance to only 12.7 KM with the use of river route.

About Majuli Island:

  • Majuli is the first island district of the country. The island is formed by the Brahmaputra river in the south and the Kherkutia Xuti, an anabranch of the Brahmaputra, joined by the Subansiri River in the north. Majuli is the nerve centre of neo-Vaishnavite.
  • Majuli Island was also declared the largest river island in the world, toppling Marajo in Brazil, by Guinness World Records in 2016.

Ro-Ro Ferry Service

It refers to vessels used to carry wheeled cargo like cars, semi-trailer trucks, trucks, trailers, and railroad cars that are driven on (rolled on) and off (rolled off) ferry on their own wheels or using platform vehicle.

Background

Majuli is world’s largest riverine islands located on Brahmaputra River. It has 144 villages with a IWAI launches Ro-Ro service from Neamati to Manjuli Island in Assam  population of over 1,50,000. The habitants of the island are facing serious challenges of connectivity. They cross river using conventional ferry service at various locations for their day to day needs. In absence of adequate number of bridges, cargo and passenger movement takes through longer road routes leading to critical loss of time and money. Earlier, IWAI had started similar Ro-Ro service between Dhubri and Hatsingimari which had reduced travel distance by 190 kms. Permanent Ro-Ro terminal was constructed at Dhubri for the purpose. It also has constructed oating terminals at 11 locations along length of Brahmaputra waterway.

Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI)

IWAI is nodal statutory body in charge of development and regulation of inland waterways for shipping and navigation. It was established in October 1986 and is headquartered in Noida, UP. Its main function is to build necessary infrastructure in inland waterways, surveying economic feasibility of new projects and also carrying out administration and regulation. It undertakes projects for development and maintenance of IWT infrastructure on national waterways through grant received from Ministry of Shipping.

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