World’s longest river cruise ‘MV Ganga Vilas’ to culminate its journey on Feb 28 in Assam’s Dibrugarh
NEW DELHI: Flagged off from Varanasi on January 13 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the world’s longest river cruise ‘MV Ganga Vilas’ will culminate its journey on February 28 in Assam’s Dibrugarh.
A welcome ceremony will be organized by the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), under the aegis of the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Government of India in Dibrugarh on the same day.
‘MV Ganga Vilas’ a cruise vessel made in India, began its journey from Varanasi on January 13 after being flagged off by Prime Minister Modi.
The cruise will cover a distance of 3,200 km in over 50 days before reaching Dibrugarh on February 28 via Patna Sahib, Bodh Gaya, Vikramshila, Dhaka, the Sundarbans and the Kaziranga National Park.
Built with a unique design and a futuristic vision, the cruise has three decks and 18 suites on board with a capacity of 36 tourists.
It is already booked for the to and fro journeys for the next two years. Union Minister Sonowal said ‘MV Ganga Vilas’ has put India and Bangladesh on the river cruise map of the world thus opening a new horizon and vertical for tourism and freight carriage in the Indian subcontinent.
“Tourists seeking spirituality can visit destinations like Kashi, Bodh Gaya, Vikramshila, and Patna Sahib and those keen on witnessing the natural diversity will cover destinations like Sundarbans and Kaziranga,” he said.
This route heralds a new chapter for freight carriage through inland waterways both for India and Bangladesh, according to him.
“Now through this journey, tourists have an opportunity to go onboard an immersive experiential voyage and explore the art, culture, history, and spirituality of India and Bangladesh along the entire route,” he added.
North East has a huge potential for freight carriage through National Waterways (NW).
These National Waterways provide hinterland connectivity to the states of Assam, Nagaland, Tripura, Manipur, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh also and connect these States with mainland India and seaports of Kolkata and Haldia through the Indo-Bangladesh Protocol route.
Several projects for developing inland water transport infrastructure namely fairway, terminals and navigation aids have been completed by IWAI in the North East region and some of them are under progress.
As per an IWAI internal study conducted in 2017, 49 MMTPA of cargo moves in and out of the North East Region and 30 MMTPA of cargo moves within the North East region.