The major modes of transportation in Assam are roadways, railways, airways and inland waterways.
Roadways: Excellent infrastructure is the most crucial requirement of the industries. The Government realizes that excellent road connectivity in all the new Industrial Estates/ Parks of the State is needed for the Industrial growth. The State therefore ensures emphasis on adequate road connectivity.
Assam has total road length of approximately 37,555 kms covering both metalled and non-metalled surfaces. It has 48 km of roads per 100 sq km of area.
At present, there are 2 road-cum-rail bridges and one road bridge over the river Brahmaputra. The fourth bridge over the river near Dibrugarh is under construction and a fifth bridge in Guwahati is also coming up. The Government is also taking action for three more bridges over the Brahmaputra at Dhola, Jorhat, Nematighat and Dhubri Phulbari.
There are tremendous opportunities in construction and development of roads for improving access to important industrial areas. The idea of re-opening of Stilwell Road and corridor through Myanmar to hook on to the Trans Asian Highways is currently being explored. With this road, the exports from Assam would reach Bangkok, Singapore in about 4/5 days time.
Railways: North-East Frontier Railway operating in the state of Assam has major plans to increase the railway connectivity and improve the existing facilities to facilitate and increase the movement of freight and passengers through railways. The gauge conversion works of railway track on the North banks of Brahmaputra River along with the new railway bridge across Brahmaputra at Bogibeel near Dibrugarh will provide alternate rail connectivity to the upper Assam region. The main rail track on Barauni-Katihar-Guwahati will be electrified for faster movement. For improving the freight movement through railways and for faster & reliable goods movement rolling stock examination facilities have been created on N.F. Railway. The Hill Section between Lumding and Badarpur is being converted to broad-gauge which will improve transportation of essential commodities and industrial raw materials and final products to & from south Assam. The Barak valley region will be connected with Tripura through the new Silchar - Agartala railway line.
The total route length is approximately 3950 kms. Several services directly connect Assam to major cities of India. Within the State, all the major towns are directly linked by railways. The headquarters of the North-East Frontier Railways is located at Guwahati.
Air connectivity: As regards air connectivity, Assam has 6 operational airports with Guwahati airport designated as an international airport. Government has proposed one Greenfield project at Kokrajhar and major investments are planned for up-gradation of existing airports anticipating the future increase in demand.
Assam is well connected with the rest of India by both state owned and private airlines. The capital city of Guwahati is well connected with major cities of the country through regular and direct flights. There are also regular intra-state air services connecting the six civil airports of the State. Some of the tea gardens have their own air-strips and aircraft. Flights to and from the South East Asian cities are in the offering through the LGB International Airport at Guwahati.
The projected outlook for Assam is encouraging as regards air infrastructure and connectivity. Passenger traffic is projected to grow at a CAGR of over 15% in the next five years. Major investments are being planned in up-gradation of existing air infrastructure and Guwahati is emerging as a hub for international flights to the South and South East Asia.
Inland Waterways: Assam’s major river routes are the Brahmaputra and the Barak rivers with a combined navigable length of around a thousand kilometers.
i) River Brahmaputra with a navigable length of 891km from Sadiya to Dhubri and
ii) River Barak having a navigable length of 94km.
There are seven port locations that are operational for Import and Export to Kolkata and Haldia port. The river Brahmaputra is the National Waterway No.2 of the country. The Directorate of Inland Water Transport, Assam operates water transport services on the river Brahmaputra and Barak on commercial basis. These services are used for the transportation of passengers and goods alike across the State and to neighboring West Bengal. The present cargo handling capacity of the fleet is nearly 10,000 metric tonnes.
The projected outlook anticipates an increase in the passenger and cargo traffic by a factor of 20 in the next ten years as people go ahead and harness the power of the cheapest means of transport. The development of this can open up access to the state by sea. Inland Container Depot (ICD): Container Corporation of India Ltd. (CONCOR) operates an ICD at Amingaon, 10 km from Guwahati having one Reach Stacker with 50MT capacity and Two Sling cranes with 35MT capacity. Two bonded warehouses of CONCOR along with a private warehouse adding up a total area of 6400 sq.m. operate from the ICD.