River cruise from Kolkata to Bangladesh and Northeast from March 2019

As cruise tourism gains momentum in India after a successful trial of cargo movement to Bangladesh via the inland waterways protocol route, a transboundary river cruise operation is expected to start from Kolkata in March next year through Sunderbans to Bangladesh first, and then towards the Northeast, a senior official said.
SVK Reddy, Member, Inland Waterways Authority of India, during a seminar organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in the city recently, 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.”
Abdus Samsah, Shipping Secretary, Bangladesh had earlier said that private players will be allowed to operate river cruise between the two countries, which will cover about 1,539 km. Both sides also agreed to allow private operators to run cruise to Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh.
Reddy also informed that night navigation facility has been installed up to the Indian border, while Bangladesh is expected to do the same. He said India has agreed to fund up to 80 per cent of the dredging cost in some identified stretches within Bangladesh in the Indo-Bangla protocol route to make it navigable.

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