The legislative assembly of Assam has enacted the Assam Inland Water Transport Regulatory Authority Act. According to the Act, a regulatory authority will be formed with the agenda of promoting the overall operations of the Inland Water Transport (IWT) department.
Prior to the passing of the bill, however, several concerns were raised by legislators. Speaker Hitendra Nath Goswami intervened and said, “If the members had so many issues, they should have raised when the Bill was introduced in the House. Now at the stage of consideration, such lengthy debate will not serve much purpose and cannot be allowed.”
“However, the issues and grievances raised by the members are of importance and I would form a committee consisting of MLAs from all parties to discuss the points raised here. The committee will meet very soon and a report of its discussions and suggestions shall be forwarded to the Transport Minister for onward submission to the regulatory authority, once it is formed,” he added.
The Assam Inland Water Transport Regulatory Authority is charged with framing the guidelines for the sector with safety of the passengers being the primary motive.
Assam has about 1,980 km of navigable waterways. NW No.2, No. 16 and 13 other NWs fall within the jurisdiction of the state of Assam.