The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi on 13 January flagged off the World’s Longest River Cruise-MV Ganga Vilas and inaugurated the Tent City at Varanasi via video conferencing. He also inaugurated and laid the foundation stones for several other inland waterways projects worth more than Rs. 1000 crores during the event. In line with the Prime Minister’s endeavour to boost river cruise tourism, the huge untapped potential of river cruises will get unlocked with the launch of this service and it will herald a new age of river cruise tourism for India.
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister pointed out that the longest river cruise from Kashi to Dibrugarh is being flagged off which will bring to the fore, places of tourism in North India on the world tourism map.
Underlining the central role of river Ganga in the life of every Indian, Shri Modi lamented that the area around the banks lagged behind in development in the post-independence period thereby leading to a massive exodus of population from this area. The Prime Minister elaborated on a twin approach to address this unfortunate situation. On the one hand, the campaign to clean Ganga was undertaken through Namami Gange and ‘Arth Ganga’ was taken up on the other. In ‘Arth Ganga’ steps have been taken to create an environment of economic dynamism in the states from where Ganga passes.