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Sunday, 12 January, 2020, 15 : 54 PM [IST]

Big ships will start sailing in the Ganges by 2021: PM

Will set up water parks, Aquariums, Water sports centres, Cruise facilities, Marine Museums along the coast
Speaking at the 150th Anniversary of Kolkata Port, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spelt out his government’s integrated waterway’s policy by modernising existing port infrastructure and integrating it with other modes of transport in a seamless way. 

He said that 625 projects worth 6 Lakh crore has been identified under the Sagarmala Scheme of the government to improve connectivity as well as infrastructure of ports and out of which 200 projects worth 3 lakh crore are already underway. 125 projects are already been completed by the government, the Prime Minister said. Government, he said, wanted the transportation infrastructure modernised and integrated. North and North Eastern states will be big beneficiary of these integrated projects.  

Talking about Kolkata’s unique positioning as the ‘Sangam Sthal’ of the Sea and the River Ganges, Prime Minister said that Kolkata will be the biggest beneficiary of the connected and integrated transport policy of the government. Ports, he said, have always been considered to be the gateways to prosperity in India. 

The multi-modal terminal in Haldia and the Navigational Lock in Farakka will be ready by this year, Modi informed. The deepening work of the Ganges is underway and big ships will be able to cruise on the Ganges by 2021, he added. 

 Saying that coastal tourism, river tourism and cruise tourism are priorities of the government, the Prime Minister said that the government will set up aquariums, marine museums, water parks, water sports facilities in key destinations along the coast. Considering a lot of Indian tourists go abroad for cruise vacations, the Prime Minister said that the effort has been to strengthen cruise tourism facilities in India. He said that the target is to take the number of cruise ships calling on Indian ports to 1,000 in the next couple of years. 

 Prime Minister also announced the renaming of the Kolkata Port after Dr Syama Prasad Mukherjee Port.
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