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MV Ganga Vilas completes maiden trip at Assam's Dibrugarh; Union Minister Sonowal says India unlocking vast potential of blue economy MV Ganga Vilas

MV Ganga Vilas completes maiden trip at Assam's Dibrugarh; Union Minister Sonowal says India unlocking vast potential of blue economy

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 28 Feb 2023, 11:52 pm

Dibrugarh/IBNS: MV Ganga Vilas, the world’s longest river cruise, arrived at Assam’s Bogibeel on Tuesday afternoon.

Welcoming ‘MV Ganga Vilas’, at its culminating destination in Dibrugarh, Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal hailed it as a historic and path-breaking event in the Inland Waterways sector.

Sonowal also welcomed all the 28 foreign tourists travelling onboard.

Bangladesh’s Minister of Shipping Minister of State (I/C) Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury was present on the occasion.

In its maiden journey, the MV Ganga Vilas successfully covered a distance of over 3200 km.

The cruise was flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Varanasi on January 13.

The cruise has three decks and 18 suites on board with a capacity of 36 tourists. It is already booked for to and fro journeys for the next two years.

The tourists, onboard the cruise, travelled through iconic places like Patna Sahib, Bodh Gaya, Vikramshila, Dhaka, the Sunderbans, and the Kaziranga before reaching Dibrugarh in Assam today.

On the occasion, Sonowal said the robustness of the ship during the course of this journey exhibited how India’s tremendous strength in ship-building capacity is a world-class enterprise.

The successful cruise movement as well as cargo movement on inland waterways is a testament to Prime Minister’s vision to bring about transformation through transportation, he said.

“Today, we have realised another milestone to unlock tremendous potential in the blue economy of India,” he said.

He underscored that India has reclaimed access from the Brahmaputra to international marine trade routes via Indo Bangladesh Protocol Route (IBPR) & coastal ecosystem.

“As northeast India gets ready to power the engine of growth of India with its rich riverine system, I am sure the historic city of Dibrugarh and the whole region remains excited about the trade and commercial potential it carries forth in the ensuing days,” he stated.

‘MV Ganga Vilas’ has put India and Bangladesh on the river cruise map of the world. It has opened a new vista and vertical for tourism and freight carriage in the Indian sub-continent, the minister said.

Sonowal encouraged all other private sector operators to identify the river cruise circuits of their choice on various waterways and to enter this nascent sector.

The major highlight of MV Ganga Vilas’s successful voyage is the opportunity to use the inland waterways to reach the seaports and access to the world of international trade routes.

Under the Jal Marg Vikas Project of the Ministry of Ports, Shipping & Waterways (MoPSW), the government is investing more than Rs 6,000 crores to revamp the inland waterways through Arth Ganga and Mahabahu Brahmaputra projects.