The inspiration for many number of folk and modern songs in the state of Assam in Northeast India- the river and a boatride on it.
With its hilly terrain and the occurrence of frequent landslides and other calamities particularly during the monsoon, building, maintaining a proper road and rail network is a formidable task. This has been one of the major reasons for the backwardness of the State. However, the mighty Brahmaputra and Barak rivers and their myriad tributaries weave a vast network of waterways, which can be effectively exploited to fulfil the transportation needs of the state. The river Brahmaputra has been declared as the 2nd National Waterways of the country. Two Government-owned organisations (Central Inland Waterways Corporation and Directorate of Inland Waterways, Assam) are operating water transport services on the river Brahmaputra and Barak on commercial basis. These services are used for the transportation of passengers and goods alike. To many places in the hinterlands, waterways is the only mode of transport.
Currently, the Directorate of Inland Water Transport operates 50 ferry services on Brahmaputra and 24 on river Barak. These services cater to the transportation of passengers and goods across the state as also to the neighbouring states. The types of cargo handled mainly are jute, coal, fertilizers, forest, agricultural products, cement, machinery etc. The present cargo handling capacity of the fleet is nearly 10,000 metric tones.
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