Gadkari's big plan for Mumbai: A 1,000 crore cruise terminal and link to Southeast Asia
Nitin Gadkari said the plan was to take cruise tourism from Mumbai-Chennai, Mumbai-Cochin, Mumbai-Andamans and Nicobar Islands, Mumbai-Singapore and Mumbai to South East Asian countries.
BT Online New Delhi Last Updated: November 23, 2017 | 21:03 IST
The cruise tourism is evolving at a fast pace in Mumbai with travellers with heavy pockets ready to shell out extra bucks for luxurious rides. To tap into this booming industry and immense employment opportunities associated with it, the central government plans to link Mumbai with prominent locations across the country, besides South East Asia. The government has asked private operators to come forward and take the benefit of this booming industry .
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, who handles the road transport, highways, shipping and water resource portfolios, said on Thursday: "We already sanctioned Rs 1,000 crore for a cruise terminal in Mumbai. Every year, we are receiving 80 cruise (liners). We expect it would rise to 950 cruise liners in next five years."
He added the cruise tourism could be a game changer as it could provide huge employment. "Forty nine per cent of the investment in tourism is going to create employment," he told reporters here. He said the plan was to take cruise tourism from Mumbai-Chennai, Mumbai-Cochin, Mumbai-Andamans and Nicobar Islands, Mumbai-Singapore and Mumbai to South East Asian countries.
Gadkari said the ministry would soon start passenger ferry services between Kanyakumari to Rameswaram. "Pon Radhakrishnan (minister of state for shipping) has been discussing it with me for two years. We will immediately start Kanyakumari-Rameswaram (passenger ferry). We are inviting private operators to come forward," he said.
"The government wants to increase the number of cruise tourists to 40 lakh in five years from last year's number of 1.80 lakh," Gadkari had said in October, adding that the number of tourist ships visiting India could go up from the present 158 to about 955 per year. He had also said the revenue benefit would shoot up to Rs 35,500 crore in 2022 from the over Rs 700 crore last year. With PTI inputs