World Bank has signed a loan agreement with the Government of India and the Government of Assam for funding Rs 630Cr modernization of water transport project in the state. The project will support the Government of Assam’s efforts to corporatize its own ferry activities. The Assam Shipping Company (ASC) will operate the government ferries and the Assam Ports Company (APC) will provide terminals and terminal services on a common-user basis to both public and private ferry operators.
At present, more than 350 ferry routes cross the Brahmaputra or serve its islands, providing a crucial means of transport to thousands of commuters in both the urban and rural areas of the Brahmaputra Valley. The Assam Inland Water Transport Project (AIWTP), will help Assam improve the passenger ferry infrastructure and its services and strengthen the capacity of the institutions running the inland water transport. Technically better-designed terminals and energy-efficient vessels (both new and retrofitted) will make the ferry services more sustainable with the least disruption to nature.