Ro-Ro service to cut 410km of travel time to Assam’s Majuli Island: What is it?

New Delhi: Indian Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) is starting a Ro-Ro ( Roll on-Roll off) facility in collaboration with Government of Assam, to enhance the transportation facility to Majuli Island, the biggest river island in the world.

India’s first district island has a population of 153,363 living in 144 villages – transportation being one of the major issues therewith.

Earlier, high-end commercial vehicles have to cross a distance of 423 km from Nemati to reach Majuli via Tezpur Road Bridge. Now, Ro-Ro service will cut down the circuitous road route of 423 KMs to 12.7 KMs, shortening the travel distance, cutting down travel time and enhancing the ease of travel.

Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal flagged off the area’s first Ro-Ro service on Thursday.

A new vessel, MV Bhupen Hazarika, procured by IWAI at a cost of Rs 9.46 crore has reached Nematighat on Wednesday. Hazarika is 46.5-metre-long and the 13.3-metre-wide vessel has a carrying capacity of eight trucks and 100 passengers.

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.

IWAI is also planning to procure more such Ro-Ro vessels for use on river Brahmaputra.

Earlier, IWAI had started a similar Ro-Ro service between Dhubri and Hatsingimari which reduced the travel distance by 190 Kms.

Last year in October, PM Modi flagged off a similar ferry service in Gujarat.