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Monday, 26 September, 2016, 12 : 00 PM [IST]

Centre may collaborate with Singapore to promote Cruise tourism

According to a report by Meghna Manchanda in Business Standard, major ports in the country might get a facelift, as the Ministry of Shipping is planning to exploit the tourism potential of the marine sector. The government might soon collaborate with the Singapore government to promote cruise tourism by modernising infrastructure at all major and minor ports. The modernisation exercise is expected to begin with the Mumbai Port. Currently, cruise services operate at three ports — Mumbai, Goa and Kochi. To begin with, cargo traffic at the Mumbai port would soon be terminated. The port infrastructure would only be used for handling passenger traffic. Talks are going on between the two governments and there could be some further traction on the matter when the Singapore delegation visits India next month, according to an official. 

A consultant might be engaged by the central government to advice on improvement of infrastructure at ports. Steps will be taken for easy movement for passengers, which includes reducing time for grant of visas at ports, receiving all mandatory customs and excise clearances and so on. The ministry of tourism will be engaged for ironing out the hurdles and enable smooth movement for tourists. 

According to the proposal, a Singapore government-assigned authority would develop a tourism circuit at major and non-major ports. Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Shipping, Government of India, recently said INR 5,000 crore would be spent to develop infastructure at the Mumbai Port Trust. The port trust will be developing 500 hectares of its 1,800-hectare land holding as part of the project. Of this, 150 hectares have been identified for initial development. 
 
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