- 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.
- Majuli is one of the biggest riverine islands in the world located on river Brahmaputra and faces serious challenges of connectivity. It has 144 villages with a population of over 1,50,000.
- The commencement of Ro-Ro services to Majuli island would be a landmark event towards augmenting connectivity not only in Assam but the entire North Eastern Region.
- Currently, there are only four road bridges across river Brahmaputra – at Jogighopa, Guwahati, Tezpur and Sadiya for connectivity between southern and northern parts of Assam.
- People residing on either side of the river need to cross the 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 a similar Ro-Ro service between Dhubri and Hatsingimari which reduced the travel distance by 190 KMs.
- A permanent Ro-Ro terminal was constructed at Dhubri for the purpose. Floating terminals have also been constructed at 11 locations along the length of the Brahmaputra waterway.
- These are at Hatsingimari, Dhubri, Jogighopa, Tezpur, Silghat, Biswanathghat, Neamati, Sengajan, Bogibeel, Dibugarh/ Oakland and Oriumghat.