13 Jan 2023

MV Ganga Vilas Launch: PM Modi Flags Off World’s Longest River Cruise In Varanasi, Inaugurates Tent City

Varanasi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off the World’s Longest River Cruise-MV Ganga Vilas and inaugurated the Tent City at Varanasi via video conferencing today. 

He also inaugurated and laid the foundation stones for several other inland waterways projects worth more than Rs. 1000 crores during the event. 

Area around banks lagged behind in development

Underlining the central role of river Ganga in the life of every Indian, the Prime Minister lamented that the area around the banks lagged behind in development in the post-independence period thereby leading to a massive exodus of population from this area. 

Namami Gange and ‘Arth Ganga'

The Prime Minister elaborated on a twin approach to address this unfortunate situation. On the one hand, the campaign to clean Ganga was undertaken through Namami Gange and ‘Arth Ganga’ was taken up on the other. In ‘Arth Ganga’ steps have been taken to create an environment of economic dynamism in the states from where Ganga passes.

Cruise has something special for everyone

Directly addressing the tourists from foreign countries who are traveling on the maiden journey of the cruise, the Prime Minister said that the Cruise has something special for everyone. He added that those seeking spirituality will cover destinations like Kashi, Bodh Gaya, Vikramshila, Patna Sahib and Majuli, tourists looking out for a multinational cruise experience will get the opportunity to via Dhaka in Bangladesh, and those wanting to witness the natural diversity of India will cross through Sundarbans and the forests of Assam. 

Cruise will pass through 25 different river streams

Observing that the cruise will pass through 25 different river streams, the Prime Minister said that this cruise has significant importance for those who have a keen interest in understanding the river systems of India. 

Explore myriad culinary and cuisines of India

He also mentioned that it is a golden opportunity for those who want to explore the myriad culinary and cuisines of India. “One can witness the extraordinary amalgamation of the heritage of India and its modernity on this cruise”, the Prime Minister remarked as he shed light on the new era of cruise tourism where new employment opportunities will be created for the youth of the country. 

“Not just foreign tourists but Indians who traveled to different nations for such an experience can head towards North India now”, the Prime Minister said. He also informed that similar experiences are being readied in other inland waterways of the country to give a boost to cruise tourism while keeping in mind the budget as well as the luxury experience.

Tent City at Varanasi

Tent City has been conceptualised on the banks of the River Ganga to tap the potential of tourism in the region. The project has been developed opposite to city ghats which will provide accommodation facilities and cater to the increased tourist influx in Varanasi, especially since the inauguration of Kashi Vishwanath Dham.

 It has been developed by Varanasi Development Authority in PPP mode. The tourists will reach the Tent City by boats from different Ghats situated in the vicinity. 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

Prime Minister will inaugurate Haldia Multi-Modal Terminal in West Bengal. Developed under Jal Marg Vikas Project, Haldia Multi-Modal Terminal has a cargo handling capacity of around over 3 Million Metric Tonne Per Annum (MMTPA) and the berths are designed to handle vessels up to around 3000 Deadweight tonnage (DWT).

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