Guwahati: A loan of $88 million was signed between the Centre, the Assam government and World Bank on Thursday to help modernise Assam’s passenger ferry sector that runs on its rivers including the mighty Brahmaputra.
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.
The loan agreement was signed by Sameer Kumar Khare, additional secretary, department of economic affairs, Union ministry of finance, on behalf of government of India, and Junaid Kamal Ahmad, country director (India), on behalf of World Bank.
The loan of $88 million from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) has a final maturity of 14.5 years including a grace period of five years.
The project was signed by Adil Rashid, commissioner (Assam Transport) and state project director (India) on behalf of government of Assam, and Kamal Ahmad on behalf of World Bank.
The project will support the government of Assam’s efforts to corporate 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.
The project will help the terminals in having better access, lighting and signage while the new vessels will allow for individual seats, and separate toilets.