PM Modi to flag off world’s longest cruise MV Ganga Vilas today

Apart from this, the prime will also inaugurate Tent City and also inaugurate and lay the foundation stones for several other inland waterways projects worth more than 1000 crores during the event.

The flag-off ceremony will be in the presence of Minister for Ports, Shipping & Waterways – Sarbananda Sonowal, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath, besides other Ministers and senior officials from various Ministries & Departments.

An official of Port, Shipping and Waterways told ANI that World’s longest River Cruise MV Ganga Vilas is the first-ever cruise vessel to be made in India. This is the symbol of Self-reliant India (Atmanirbhar Bharat) in the River Cruise Sector. 

The Ministry of Culture, in a statement, said it will organise a “grand curtain-raiser cultural programme ‘Sur Sarita – Symphony of Ganga’ on the eve of the launch of the world’s longest river cruise”.

MV Ganga Vilas will begin its journey from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh and travel 3,200 km, in 51 days, to reach Dibrugarh in Assam via Bangladesh.

PM will release a document – “River Cruise Vision Document 2047” which encapsulates the vision of the progress and growth of River cruise by 2047.

During the event, the PM will also inaugurate Haldia Multi-Modal Terminal, 4 floating community jetties in Uttar Pradesh, the Skill Development Centre at Guwahati in Assam

Here’s all you need to know about MV Ganga Vilas:

MV Ganga Vilas has three decks, 18 suites on board with a capacity of 36 tourists, with all the luxury amenities. The maiden voyage has 32 tourists from Switzerland signing up for the entire length of the journey.

Built to cherish Indian and international design, the modernist ship is 62 meters in length and 12 meters wide and requires a draft of 1.4 meters. 

The 51 days cruise is planned with visits to 50 tourist spots including World Heritage Sites, National Parks, River Ghats, and major cities like Patna in Bihar, Sahibganj in Jharkhand, Kolkata in West Bengal, Dhaka in Bangladesh and Guwahati in Assam. The itinerary of MV Ganga Vilas has been curated to showcase the rich heritage of India with stop overs in spots of historical, cultural and religious importance.

The luxury cruise will cover a distance of more than 3,200 kms and pass through 5 states in India and Bangladesh.

In line with PM’s endeavour to boost river cruise tourism, the huge untapped potential of river cruise will get unlocked with the launch of this service and it will herald a new age of river cruise tourism for India.

The cruise will enter the Bhagirathi, Hooghly, Bidyavati, Malata, and Sundarbans river systems in Bengal.

In Bangladesh, it will pass through Meghna, Padma, and Jamuna in Bangladesh and then enter the Brahmaputra in Assam.

CM Yogi Adityanath said, “With waterways, there will be passenger as well as cargo services. The prime minister’s vision of starting Ganga Vilas is now connected with the Eastern Waterways. Welcoming the Swiss tourists of the inaugural voyage, the CM assured them that they would get the thrill of tourism and adventure on the trip. They will also get to experience the hospitality of the country.

In order to facilitate the growth of Water Transport in India, IWAI has undertaken several projects, one of which is the Haldia MMT. Haldia is an industrial port city located on the confluence of River Hoogly and the Bay of Bengal in the state of West Bengal, as per ANI report.

The geographical advantage of Haldia provides a competitive logistics edge with the waterways. It provides the opportunity to export and import the products at quite affordable rates. Developed over an area of 61 acres in the Purba Medinipur District of West Bengal under the Jal Marg Vikas Project, the Haldia Multi-Modal Terminal (MMT) has a cargo handling capacity of 3.08 MMTPA. The berths are designed to handle vessels up to 3000 DWT

“Floating community jetties will be inaugurated at Saidpur (Ghazipur), Chochakpur (Ghazipur), Zamania (Ghazipur), and Kanpur (Ballia) in Uttar Pradesh. More than 60 community jetties is being constructed along river Ganga across the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal to boost the economic activities and improve the livelihoods of the local community,” the Ministry official told ANI.

An official of Port, Shipping and Waterways further said that the community jetties aim at inclusive growth and would play a key role in improving the livelihoods of people by providing simple logistics solutions for small farmers, fishery units, an unorganised farm-producing unit, horticulturists, florists and artisans focussing on economic activities in & around the hinterland of river Ganga.

(With inputs from agencies)

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