Varanasi: Asserting that India is entering a strong phase of tourism, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said with a rising global profile is also growing curiosity about the country.
“The longest river cruise from Kashi to Dibrugarh begins today, putting tourism destinations in North India on the global tourism map. With the tent city, tourists and devotees coming to Kashi now have an incredible means of accommodation,” the PM said in his address after flagging off the world’s longest river cruise – MV Ganga Vilas, adding, “India is entering into a robust phase of tourism as with a growing global profile, curiosity about India is also increasing.”
The Prime Minister said that this cruise journey is going to bring many new experiences together.
“Those seeking spirituality will cover destinations like Kashi, Bodh Gaya, Vikramshila, Patna Sahib, and Majuli, tourists looking out for a multinational cruise experience will get the opportunity to via Dhaka in Bangladesh, and those wanting to witness the natural diversity of India will cross through Sundarbans and the forests of Assam,” PM Modi said.
PM also inaugurated the tent city through video conferencing in Varanasi today.
The Prime Minister, who associated through video conferencing with the main program coordinated in Kashi, also inaugurated and laid the foundation stones for schemes worth more than Rs 1,000 crore.
PM Modi said that the foundation stone of the elevated road connecting the Haldia Multi-Modal Terminal, Ship Repair Center, and Water Way Terminal to the National Highway was laid in Assam and the Maritime Skill Center for the North East was inaugurated in Guwahati. He said, “These schemes are going to expand the possibilities related to trade and tourism in eastern India. These will create new employment opportunities.”
Stating that the cruise will pass through 25 different river streams, the Prime Minister said that this cruise is important for those who are interested in understanding India’s river systems.
He also mentioned that it is a golden opportunity for those who want to explore the myriad culinary and cuisines of India. He also stated that Kashi’s local economy will get a massive boost due to the rejuvenation of Kashi Vishvanath Dham.
“With improved facilities and the rejuvenation of Kashi Vishvanath Dham, Kashi has seen a huge increase in the number of visiting devotees. This has given a massive boost to the local economy.”
Underlining the situation of waterways before 2014, the PM said, earlier, there was very little use of waterways in the country, whereas waterways have thousands of years of history in our country.
“Post 2014, India is harnessing this ancient strength to the cause of modern India. There is a new law and detailed action plan for developing waterways in big rivers of the country,” he stated.
He further expressed his best wishes for the Lohri celebration as well as other impending celebrations like Uttarayan, Makar Sankranti, Bihu, and Pongal.
“These festivals are very important for our charity, faith, ‘tap-tapasya’ and accomplishment of our resolutions. In this context, the role of our rivers is very important. This makes the projects related to river waterways all the more significant,” he said.