Updated January 8th, 2024 at 17:23 IST
Govt eyes future waves with Rs 60,000 cr investment in river tourism by 2047
Union Minister Sonowal unveiled a Rs 45,000 crore plan for river cruise infrastructure and a Rs 15,000 crore initiative for 1,000 green vessels.
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River tourism boost: The government plans to allocate Rs 60,000 crore by 2047 for the development of river cruise tourism and the creation of eco-friendly vessels, as revealed by Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Monday. During the first meeting of the Inland Waterways Development Council, Sonowal disclosed that Rs 45,000 crore would be invested in river cruise infrastructure, projecting a rise in passenger capacity from 2 lakh to 15 lakh by 2047. Additionally, the government aims to invest Rs 15,000 crore over the next decade in green transport, focusing on the development of 1,000 vessels and ferries.
Green vision by 2047
Sonowal emphasised that the entire investment, following a public-private partnership (PPP) model, would amount to Rs 60,000 crore by 2047, with the potential to generate numerous job opportunities. The meeting, attended by officials from approximately 20 states and Union territories, witnessed the unveiling of guidelines for the 'Harit Nauka' initiative, promoting the green transition of inland vessels, and the River Cruise Tourism Roadmap 2047.
Conducted on a cruise vessel, the day-long meeting, spearheaded by Sonowal, aimed to streamline and advance waterways' development in collaboration with states and central government agencies. Key topics discussed included fairway development, private sector engagement, optimising cargo transport efficiency in Inland Water Transport (IWT), and promoting eco-friendly vessels for passenger transportation, along with exploring the economic benefits of river cruise tourism.
The meeting attracted participation from the West Bengal transport secretary, who sought assistance with river dredging. In response, an official from the Inland Waterways Authority of India pledged support for dredging and the construction of approximately 20 community jetties, which would be handed over to the state.
(With PTI Inputs)
Published January 8th, 2024 at 17:23 IST