National waterways: Slow pace irks Parliament Panel

Published: 30th June 2013 09:35 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th June 2013 09:35 AM   |  A+A-

Union Shipping Minister G K Vasan and CPM leader Sitaram Yechury are embroiled in a controversy yet again, this time over the development of the National Waterways.

Yechury was unhappy with Vasan over the delay in the projects aimed at the development of the inland water transport sector in the country. 

Yechury, as the Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture had always been critical of the UPA’s Inland Water Transport policies and this was not the first time that his Parliamentary panel has slammed the Shipping Ministry.

The discord was the result of a delay in bringing back the Bill to declare the Lakhipur-Bhanga stretch of the Barak river in Assam to be a National Waterway-6 resulting in 34 per cent escalation in the project cost.

The original Bill was introduced in 2007 and lapsed after dissolution of the 14th Lok Sabha, after a delay of five years. The Shipping Ministry had introduced the same Bill in March 2013.

The committee expressed its disappointment over the unexplained delay, causing cost escalation.

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