PM to flag off World’s Longest River Cruise-MV Ganga Vilas
On 13th January at 10.30 AM, Shri Narendra Modi will launch the World’s Longest River Cruise-MV Ganga Vilas, and inaugurate Tent City at Varanasi. During the event, he will also inaugurate and lay the foundation stones for several other inland waterways projects worth more than Rs. 1000 crores.
MV Ganga Vilas
The MV Ganga Vilas will start its journey from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh and sail across 27 river systems in India and Bangladesh in 51 days to reach Dibrugarh in Assam via Bangladesh. The Ganga Vilas has three decks, 18 suites on board with a capacity of 36 tourists, along with all the luxury amenities. A total of 32 Swiss tourists have signed up for the entire journey on the maiden voyage.
The MV Ganga Vilas cruise showcases the best of the country to the world. In 51 days, the cruise will visit 50 tourist destinations including World Heritage Sites, National Parks, River Ghats, and major cities such as Patna in Bihar, Sahibganj in Jharkhand, Kolkata in West Bengal, Dhaka in Bangladesh, and Guwahati in Assam. Tourists will be able to experience India’s art, culture, history, and spirituality during the journey.
With the launch of this service, the huge untapped potential of river cruise tourism for India will be unlocked, thus heralding a new era in river cruise tourism.
Tent City at Varanasi
In order to tap the potential of tourism in the region, Tent City has been conceptualized on the banks of the River Ganga. In addition to providing accommodation facilities, the project will cater to the increased tourist influx in Varanasi since Kashi Vishwanath Dham was inaugurated. In a PPP arrangement, Varanasi Development Authority developed the project. Boats will take tourists to Tent City from the nearby Ghats. The tent city will be operational from October to June every year and will be dismantled for three months due to the rise in river water level in the rainy season.
Inland Waterway projects
Haldia Multi-Modal Terminal in West Bengal will be inaugurated by the Prime Minister. Haldia Multi-Modal Terminal was developed as part of the Jal Marg Vikas project and has a cargo handling capacity of over three million metric tonnes per annum (MMTPA) and berths for vessels up to three thousand deadweight tons (DWT).
The Prime Minister will also inaugurate four floating community jetties in Uttar Pradesh at Saidpur, Chochakpur, Zamania in Ghazipur district, and Kanspur in Ballia district. Moreover, the Prime Minister will lay the foundation stone for five Community Jetties at Digha, Nakta Diyara, Barh, Panapur in Patna district, and Hasanpur in Samastipur district in Bihar. Across Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, and West Bengal, more than 60 community jetties are being constructed along the Ganga to boost economic activities and improve livelihoods. As a result of the community jetties, small farmers, fishery units, an unorganized farm-producing units, horticulturists, florists and artisans focused on economic activities along the Ganga hinterland will have access to simple logistics solutions to improve their livelihoods.
The Prime Minister will also inaugurate the Maritime Skill Development Centre for the North East in Guwahati. In the burgeoning logistics industry, it will provide better employment opportunities for the North Eastern region’s rich talent pool.
At Pandu Terminal in Guwahati, the Prime Minister will also lay the foundation stone for a ship repair facility and an elevated road. It takes more than a month for a ship to be transported to the Kolkata Repair facility and back to Pandu Terminal. Moreover, it will also result in huge savings in terms of money as the transportation cost of the ship will also be saved. The dedicated road connecting the Pandu Terminal to NH 27 will enable 24-hour connectivity.