Pandu to be a multi-modal port terminal
The Pandu port will be developed into a multi-modal port terminal connecting road, rail, air and water ways under the World Bank funded project to modernise the transport scenario in the state.
The work of last mile connectivity - rail track laying and diverting roadways to the port - is already nearing completion according to the Assam Inland Waterways Transport (IWT) which is looking after the implementation of the project.
“We are now looking into how to connect the port through road and waterways with the Guwahati Airport. Road works and laying of the rail tracks from Kamakhya railway station, about 1.5 kms away, is completed. There will be dedicated roads from Maligaon to the port for the passengers and cargoes that will be transported through waterways,” Bharat Bhushan Dev Choudhury, director of IWT told G Plus here.
The Pandu port is going to be one out of the 12 ports in the country to have last mile connectivity which are included in the Central government’s proposed company for developing port connectivity, Port Infrastructure Vikas Nigam Ltd.
The aim is to build the port terminal as per the standards of the airports in the country, Choudhury added.
“Brahmaputra level rising during monsoon season is a major problem here due to which, we need floating jetties – an approach channel for the vessels. The state government has been sanctioned 15 such floating jetties by the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) and 56 more have been promised in the coming days to develop all the ports in the state with floating jetties. Those are being constructed at Cochin. Once the Pandu port is equipped with these jetties, we will start the terminal works,” Choudhury said.
The port, built over a mere 7 hectares of land, currently has two jetties – low and high – to operate both when the water level rises and falls. The floating jetties will rise or fall along with the water-level.
Besides the already existent two godowns, the port will have modern storage units equipped with automated loading and unloading facilities.
If the infrastructures are set, the port will be able to move at least 3,000 metric tonnes (MT) of cargo every month.
Since January, 800 MT cement has been sent through the waterways and it is now planning to send 1,200MT every month from Pandu here to Dhubri on the Brahmaputra.
The first lot of cargo left the Pandu port on December 29 last year with 400 MT of cement divided into two barges - RPL Krishnai and RPL Junbili - to Dhubri, about 223 kms from Guwahati on waterways.
“The Guwahati to Dhubri route is navigable and at least 7 to 8 firms have shown interest to transport their products through waterways to Bangladesh via Dhubri. Most of them are interested to transport stone from Bhutan to Bangladesh,” Choudhury said.