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IWDC Commits Rs 45,000 Crore for Development of River Cruise Tourism

  • January 10, 2024
  • 3 min read
IWDC Commits Rs 45,000 Crore for Development of River Cruise Tourism

MoUs signed at GMIS worth Rs 15,200 crore in a bid to boost capacity in Inland Waterways

The maiden edition of Inland Waterways Development Council (IWDC) in Kolkata culminated with many firsts in an effort to ramp up capacity and augment viability of inland waterways of the country. The meet, chaired by the Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways and Ayush, Sarbananda Sonowal was attended by key stakeholders including ministerial representations from states as well as prominent stakeholders including policy makers and the industry leaders.

The meet, with an objective to enable inland waterways as conduits of economic growth and commerce in the country, committed an investment ₹45,000 crore for development of river cruise tourism in the country. Of this ambitious sum, an estimated ₹35,000 crore has been earmarked for cruise vessels and another ₹10,000 crore for development of cruise terminal infrastructure at the end of Amrit Kaal, i.e. by 2047. To amp up inland waterways for cargo trade, an investment of ₹15,200 crore has been arrived at the Global Maritime India Summit (GMIS) held in Mumbai in October, 2023. This is likely to register a growth rate of more than 400%, increasing the volume upto 500 Million Tonnes Per Annum (MTPA) by 2047. Shri Sonowal also launched ‘Harit Nauka’ guidelines and ‘River Cruise Tourism Roadmap, 2047’ at the inaugural session of IWDC in Kollkata today.

Speaking on the occasion, Sonowal said, “India has been growing impressively under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji since 2014. The immense potential of blue economy must be realised as we work towards becoming a leader in the Blue Economy of the world, a vision of Modi ji. The Inland Waterways Development Council was conceived with an objective rejuvenate our rich, complex and dynamic waterways. From the days of yore, waterways has been the conduit of economic growth and development of human civilisation. However, these brilliant proven tracks of prosperity remained neglected for decades, resulting in waste of invaluable wealth for the country. In order to resuscitate our waterways, IWDC is making an attempt with a modern approach, clear strategy and towards a goal to ensure sustainable development for an Atmanirbhar Bharat by the end of Amrit Kaal.”

At the IWDC, a roadmap was chalked to enable capacity in an additional 26 waterways, fit for River Cruise tourism from operational strength of 8 waterways. The number of cruise circuits with night stays to be increased from 17 to 80 during the same time. In an effort to boost infrastructure in the inland waterways, the number of river cruise terminals to be increased up to 185, registering a growth of 1233% from the present strength of 15 terminals. Building on the capacity of enhanced circuits, the cruise tourism traffic with night stays to be move up from 5,000 to 1.20 lakh by 2047. Similarly, the local cruise tourism traffic on National Waterways without night stay to be increased from 2 lakh to 15 lakh by 2047.

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