India to invest over Rs45,000 cr to develop inland cruise tourism

09 Jan 2024

India to invest over Rs45,000 cr to develop inland cruise tourism

The Inland Waterways Development Council, which held its first meeting in Kolkata, on Monday, committed Rs45,000 crore for the development of River Cruise Tourism in India over the next 23 years ending 2047.

The meeting, chaired by union minister of ports, shipping and waterways and Ayush, Sarbananda Sonowal, also decided to ramp up capacity and augment viability of inland waterways of the country.

The meeting, which was attended by key stakeholders, including ministerial representatives from states as well as prominent stakeholders, including policy makers and industry leaders, focused on ways to expand the scope of Inland water transport so as to make it major conduits of economic growth.

Of the total committed investments of Rs45,000 crore for development of river cruise tourism in the country, Rs35,000 crore has been earmarked for cruise vessels while Rs10,000 crore will be invested for development of cruise terminal infrastructure.

Sonowal also launched ‘Harit Nauka’ guidelines and ‘River Cruise Tourism Roadmap, 2047’ at the inaugural session of IWDC in Kolkata today.

The meeting also decided to ramp up cargo movements through inland waterways by the end of `Amrit Kaal’, i.e. by 2047, with investments to the tune of Rs15,200 crore, as decided at the Global Maritime India Summit (GMIS) held in Mumbai in October 2023. 

Cargo movement through inland waterways is expected to grow 400 per cent to reach 500 million tonnes per annum by 2047. 

“The immense potential of blue economy must be realised as we work towards becoming a leader in the blue economy of the world…. 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,” Sonowal said.

The IWDC meeting discussed a roadmap to enhance capacity in an additional 26 waterways, to make them fit for river cruise tourism from operational strength of 8 waterways. The number of cruise circuits with night stays will also go up from 17 at present to 80 during the same time. At the same time, the number of river cruise terminals will be increased from 15 at present to 185 - a growth of 1233 per cent, while cruise tourism traffic with night stays will be increased from 5,000 to 1.20 lakh by 2047. Similarly, the local cruise tourism traffic on National Waterways without night stay will be increased from 2 lakh to 15 lakh by 2047.


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