*Image credit PIB

Preparations are going on to organise twin events in Varanasi.One is related with MV Ganga Vilas, world’s longest moving river cruise. Two, tent city.

Both these projects are scheduled to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. He will flag off MV Ganga Vilas cruise and  inaugurate Tent City at Varanasi on January 13  via video conferencing.

Also,PM Modi will inaugurate and lay the foundation stones for several other inland waterways projects worth more than Rs. 1000 crores during the event.

Facts are as follows.

*MV Ganga Vilas

MV Ganga Vilas will begin its journey from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh and travel around 3,200 km in 51 days to reach Dibrugarh in Assam via Bangladesh, sailing across 27 river systems in India and Bangladesh. 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.

The MV Ganga Vilas cruise is curated to bring out the best of the country to be showcased to the world. 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 journey will give the tourists an opportunity to embark upon an experiential voyage and indulge in the art, culture, history, and spirituality of 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.

*Tent City at Varanasi

Tent City has been conceptualised on the banks of 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 tourists 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 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).

Prime Minister will also inaugurate four floating community jetties at Saidpur, Chochakpur, Zamania in Ghazipur district and at Kanspur in Ballia district in Uttar Pradesh. Besides, foundation stone will be laid for the five Community Jetties at Digha, Nakta Diyara, Barh, Panapur in Patna district and Hasanpur in Samastipur district in Bihar by the Prime Minister. 

More than 60 community jetties are 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 local communities in the region. The community jetties would play a key role in improving the livelihoods of people by providing simple logistics solutions for small farmers, fishery units, unorganised farm producing units, horticulturists, florists and artisans focussing on economic activities in and around the hinterland of river Ganga.

Prime Minister will also inaugurate Maritime Skill Development Centre for North East at Guwahati. It will help in honing the rich talent pool in the North Eastern region and will provide for better employment opportunities in the burgeoning logistics industry.

In addition to these, Prime Minister will also lay the foundation stone for a ship repair facility and an elevated road at Pandu Terminal in Guwahati. The Ship Repair facility at the Pandu Terminal will save a lot of valuable time as it takes more than a month for a ship to be transported to the Kolkata Repair facility and back. 

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.

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