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29 March, 2019 01:24:35 AM

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Dhaka-Kolkata river cruise service kicks off today

Special Correspondent, Dhaka
Dhaka-Kolkata river cruise service kicks off today

India-Bangladesh river cruise is set to become a reality soon as the authorities concerned have decided to start the journey from today. State minister for shipping, Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury, is likely to inaugurate the Dhaka-Kolkata cruise service at 9pm on March 29 from the VIP jetty of Pagla in Narayanganj.

“We’ve decided to start the journey between Dhaka and Kolkata for tourists from today,” Pranay Kanti Biswas, chairman of the Bangladesh Inland Transport Corporation (BIWTC), told The Independent yesterday.

Both Bangladesh and India have agreed to operate the cruise services.

A cruise vessel will sail for Dhaka to Haldia, West Bengal, India on the same day, the BIWTC chairman said.

According to Biswas, two BIWTC vessels—MV Bangali and MV Madhumoti—are ready to operate in the coastal and inland waters between the two countries.

“We’ve already urged those interested to communicate with the departments concerned regarding the journey. Some government and BIWTC officials will travel on the maiden journey,” Biswas said.

The vessel will resume its journey towards the southern region. On its way, it will pass three major rivers—the Padma, Meghna and Jamuna—and touch Chandpur, Barishal and port town Mongla via Antihara before entering the Sundarbans on its way to Haldia, he added.

“The three-day one-way cost from Dhaka to Kolkata will be Tk. 15,000 for a family suite (two-person cabin), Tk 5,000 per passenger for the first class, Tk. 10,000 for the deluxe class (two persons), Tk 8,000 per passenger for the economy chair, and Tk. 1500 per passenger for deck or the shulov class,” the BIWTC chairman explained.  

According to BIWTC sources, cruise operators have shown interest in using the Kolkata-Haldia-Raimongal-Chalna-Khulna-Mongla-Kawkhali-Barishal-Hizla-Chandpur-Narayanganj-Aricha-Sirajganj-Bahadurabad-Chilmari-Dhubri-Pandu-Shilghat (Assam) route, which stretches for 1,535km.

Earlier, on October 25 last year, the shipping ministries of the two countries finalised the standard operating procedure (SoP) for the movement of passenger and cruise vessels on the coastal and designated inland routes between the two neighbours. The agreement was signed by Bangladesh shipping secretary Abdus Samad and his Indian counterpart Gopal Krishna in New Delhi.


IK

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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