In a historic agreement between India and Bangladesh, both the neighbouring nations are to witness cruise vessels commuting between the nations. As agreed on the proposal on October 25, the cruise vessels are to run between Kolkata and Guwahati via Dhaka and will ply on the Inland Protocol route and coastal shipping route.
Gopal Krishna, the secretary of Ministry of Shipping, while speaking to the media, stated, “The two countries have reached an understanding, through a standard operating procedure (SOP), for movement of passenger and cruise vessels on Inland Protocol route and coastal shipping route.”
As per the agreement and official sources, the cruise vassals will commence their trip from Kolkata (West Bengal) and reach Guwahati (Assam) via Haldia in Bengal to Barisal and Dhaka in Bangladesh. To state it technically, this is route 1 &2 and 3 & 4 of protocol route. The charge to run the passenger cruise line on National Waterways-2 is taken by Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) under the aegis of shipping ministry.
The Inland Waterways Authority of India says the media, Ganga will be connected to the Brahmaputra via Indo-Bangladesh protocol route.”
As per further future plans, the cruise line will be connecting three rivers in the two neighbouring countries. The IWAI said, “Ganga in India (called Padma in Bangladesh), Jamuna at Sunderbans in Bangladesh and Brahmaputra in Assam will become the route.”
As known from the official sources, the water route is expected to be operational by March 29, 2019, and Heritage cruise line will operate the route.
On starting, the cruise liner will start from Kolkata and will reach Dhaka via Sunderbans plying over protocol route 1 & 2 and 3 & 4 and finally, it will enter Assam from Dhubri and conclude at Guwahati.
It was only in the last year when union minister of shipping, Nitin Gadkari had first mentioned about the potentiality of the water transport sector has which keeps a capability of generating a revenue up to Rs 35,000 crore and create employment for close to two lakh people.
Another cruise that has already been launched by now is the luxury cruise line from Mumbai to Goa which is being inaugurated by Gadkari and Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on October 20. Once this new cruise line gets, a huge response from tourists of both the countries can be expected to be received in the coming times.