Assam has approximately 1980 km of navigable waterways of which the most important for transport purposes are the Brahmaputra and Barak Rivers.
The Government of Assam intends to transform the quality of inland water transport services and integrate high quality passenger and vehicle ferry services into Assam’s wider transport network.
Women’s participation in workforce in Assam is lower than the national average. The Brahmaputra, running through the heart of the state, is a formidable physical barrier to accessibility and mobility having only three bridges along its length (with two more under construction). The improved connectivity across and along the Brahmaputra should help in improving their access to employment opportunities, health, education and other social services, access to markets for local products and possibly development of new industries on riparian land.
The objective of the project is to provide targeted groups such as women, children, senior citizens and the people with disability) opportunity for greater participation and their empowerment as users of improved and safer inland water transport.
The specific objective is to facilitate regional trade and markets. The study also made a detailed assessment of the soft (policy level) and hard (infrastructure) trade related aspects that can be advanced to draw advantages from development and modernization of the IWT sector in the state.