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Monday, 26 November, 2018, 10 : 15 AM [IST]

Sunderbans to Bangladesh cruise operations likely from March 2019

According to Press Trust India (PTI), Abdus Samsah, Bangladesh shipping secretary had earlier said that private players will be allowed to operate river cruise between the two countries, which will cover about 1,539 km.

Buoyed by successful trial of cargo movement to Bangladesh via the inland waterways protocol route, India is now preparing to exploit the path for the purpose of tourism, an official said. 

A transboundary river cruise operation is expected to commence from Kolkata in March, 2019 through Sunderbans to Bangladesh and then to connect the northeastern destinations by private operators, a senior official said. 

"Bilateral secretary-level meetings between India and Bangladesh were held in October. It has been decided that one of the river cruise operators would be starting operations from March, 2019 from Kolkata through Sunderbans via the protocol route to Bangladesh and then to northeast" SVK Reddy ,Member, Inland Waterways Authority of India said. 

Both sides also agreed to allow private operators to run cruise to Cox's Bazar in Bangladesh. 

Reddy said night navigation facility has been installed up to the Indian border while Bangladesh is expected to do the same. 

He added, “India has agreed to fund up to 80% of the dredging cost in some identified stretches within Bangladesh in the Indo-Bangla protocol route to make it navigable. Regularly, 15-20 barges carrying fly ash are now heading to Bangladesh and navigation up to the Indian border is smooth.”

(Source: PTI)
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