The governments of India and Bangladesh are soon to finalizing a luxury cruise service from Kolkata to Dhaka for tourists in the river Hooghly.
“Currently, both the countries have a protocol for movement of cargo ships across the border. But plans are afoot to sign a new protocol which would allow cruise ships carrying tourists,” said Arvind Kumar, assistant director of Inland Waterways Authority of India.
Sources said that the talks are at an advanced stage and if things proceed swiftly, the service for tourists can be a reality by the end of this year.
Indian part of the cruise ride would be monitored by the Inland Waterways Authority of India and Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation will look after it in Bangladesh. Right now tourists can travel to Dhaka from Kolkata either by bus, train or flights. Cargo ships carrying also move between the two countries.
If the talks succeed, the 900-km odd route would be covered by a 14-day long trip. “Vivada Cruises sent proposals to both the state government and the Union government,” Lt Col (Retd) SR Banerjee, a consultant with the company said.