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PM Modi flags off World’s Longest River Cruise, Ganga Vilas

Says, India has great potential in waterways transport

PM Modi flags off World’s Longest River Cruise, Ganga Vilas

Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off World’s Longest River Cruise-MV Ganga Vilas at Varanasi via video conferencing on Friday.

He also inaugurated and laid the foundation stones for several other inland waterways projects worth more than 1000 crore rupees.

Speaking on the occasion Prime Minister said that India has great potential in waterways transport since the country has more than 125 rivers and it's also a cheap mode of transportation.

He said that development works being done in waterways field by the government will increase Transport, trade and tourism. Mr Modi said, it will help in making eastern part as growth engine of the country.

PM Modi said that this is the decade of transformation of infrastructure in the country.

Prime Minister highlighted that the Journey of MV Ganga Vilas is not a simple event as this journey is an example of the development in inland waterways system of the country.

Talking about the phenomenal growth in the sector in last years Prime Minister said that in 2014 there were only five waterways in the country now this number is 111 and around two dozen are functional and transportation of cargo has increased tripple times.

Prime Minister said that Ganga is not just a river but an eyewitness to the journey of the country.

Wishing a great journey to the Swiss tourists, Prime Minister said that India has everything that one can imagine and it has many things beyond anyone's imagination.

He said this cruise journey will bring many different experiences.

Talking about India's growing clout, Mr Modi said that Cruise tourism and heritage tourism is starting in country at a time when India is attracting people from all over the world.

Chief Ministers of Uttar Pradesh and Assam, Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar Union Minister of shipping and Port Sarbanand Sonowal were present during the event.

Sources reports, MV Ganga Vilas will begin its journey from Varanasi today 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.

32 swiss tourists became part of the maiden voyage of Ganga Vilas cruise today which has three decks, 18 suites on board with a capacity of 36 tourists, with all the luxury amenities.

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.

PM also inaugurate the Tent city at Varanasi today which has been conceptualised on the banks of River Ganga 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.

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.

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