MV Ganga Vilas: The Centre on Monday denied reports that the luxury cruise Ganga Vilas got stuck in Bihar's Chhapra. The government said the cruise vessel sailed as per its schedule anchoring at Ghazipur on 13 January, Buxar on 14 January, and Mauzampur (Arrah) on 15 January. "After stopping at Doriganj on 16 January the cruise vessel reached Patna on 16 January 2023 at 4.45 PM," the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways said in a statement.
Earlier in the day, it was reported that the cruise, which was flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 13 from Varanasi, got stuck due to water deficiency in the Ganges near the Doriganj area. The report also said that the cruise was scheduled to dock at the shore for the tourists to visit Chirand, an archaeological site.
The Centre said all through its journey the water levels were fully maintained and monitored for the required draft of navigation facilities. As per the planned itinerary, the tourist also visited destinations en route, including Doriganj to see the ruins of the Fort.
The report claimed that the cruise could not be taken to the shore due to shallow water and the SDRF team reached the spot to rescue the tourists through a small boat so that they do not face difficulties in reaching Chirand.
The government rejected this saying tourists were taken to the bank from the vessel using the tug boat to ensure their safety and privacy. "The draft of the waterway at Doriganj is 3.5 m much above the vessel draft requirement of 1.4 m," the statement said.
"There is absolutely no truth in the news that the vessel is stuck at Chhapra," the ministry said, adding that the anchoring place and mode of transport of tourists to the bank are decided by the cruise operator depending on the safety and privacy of its passengers.
Ganga Vilas, which began its journey from Varanasi, is scheduled to travel around 3,200 km in 51 days to reach Dibrugarh in Assam via Bangladesh, sailing across 27 rivers in India and Bangladesh. During 51 days, the cruise will cover 50 tourist spots including world heritage sites, national parks, river ghats, and major cities like Patna in Bihar, Sahibganj in Jharkhand, Kolkata in West Bengal, Dhaka in Bangladesh and Guwahati in Assam.
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