Kohima: Nagaland’s only inland waterways project over the Tizu-Zungki River, declared as National Waterway 101 in 2016, is yet to see the light of day, said Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA), Yitachu during the ongoing state Assembly session on Thursday.

Through a starred question, Yitachu questioned the present status of the waterways project. In response, the Minister of Transport, Civil Aviation & Railways, Paiwang Konyak responded that a “prioritised proposal” will be submitted to the concerned ministry in a week.

Tizu-Zungki River was declared as National Waterway 101, as per the National Waterway Act published vide Gazette Notification No. 18 on March 26, 2016. With the view to developing the river as an inland water corridor, Konyak said that the state government has requested the Inland Waterways Authority of India to prepare the Detailed Project Report (DPR).

Accordingly, the DPR was prepared by M/S WAPCOS Limited following the guidelines of the Central Sector Scheme for Inland Water Transport was finalized, and the project is to be implemented in three phases.

He said that at the request of the Inland Waterways Authority of India, the Government of India decided that the project would be implemented by the Nagaland Inland Waterways Board (NIWB). The state’s transport department had requested the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways for implementing the first phase of the project. When the fund is sanctioned, he said that the project would be implemented by the NIWB.

The minister also said that the COVID-19 pandemic caused a delay in implementing the project. Recalling his recent visit to Union minister of ports, shipping and waterways, Sarbananda Sonowal, on Tuesday, Konyak said the union minister had assured to take up the matter and had also suggested that the top priorities of the project be submitted.

Yitachu raised a supplementary question, asking if there are any land-related issues against the project. Konyak responded by saying that there are no land issues and that all stakeholders have been meeting from time to time.

Leader of the NPF Legislature urged the government to take the matter seriously, saying that waterways are the cheapest means of transport. He said that if the government is willing to go ahead with the project, there should be no further delay to implement the project.

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