DHAKA, Feb 4, 2023 (BSS) - State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury today said that the 'MV Ganga Bilas' would facilitate the country from different aspects.
"The tour will facilitate our tourism more... Business, trade and mutual relationship of the two countries will be more developed and it will play a vital role," he said.
"Bangladesh has good relations with India in various fields including trade, education and culture," he added.
Khalid said these at a programme of tourist reception on the occasion of the arrival of the Indian cruise vessel 'Ganga Bilash' at Mongla port.
"When the luxury ship will cross the border of Bangladesh, Bangladesh-India friendship will spread and become more colorful", Khalid said
Mongla Port Chairman Rear Admiral Mir Ershad Ali and India's High Commissioner to Bangladesh Pranay Kumar Verma also spoke.
The Indian tourist vessel entered the waters of Bangladesh yesterday and tourists are getting on board emigration facilities at 'Angtihara' of Koira Upazila of Khulna District.
Ganga Bilas will cross the border of Bangladesh on February 17, said a press release.
Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) BIWTA will be responsible for maintaining the navigability of protocol routes, ensuring berthing facilities and granting voyage permission for use of waterways and overall monitoring of voyage permission as per Standard Operating Procedures (SOP).
The Ministry of Home Affairs has taken steps to provide proper security to the ship while crossing the waterways of Bangladesh.
The Ministry of Health has arranged to check the Covid-19 certificate of all passengers and seamen at the entry point Angtihara.
The ship operating company 'Gulf Orient Seaways' will continuously monitor the vessel during its voyage and tour operator company 'Journey Plus' will coordinate and communicate with all the concerned organizations regarding the visit of places of interest.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoI) was signed in 2015 to introduce passenger and cruise services on coastal and protocol routes between Bangladesh and India in line with the Protocol.
In light of the MoU, SOP was signed in 2018.
Three Indian and one Bangladeshi vessels have operated since the launch of passenger and cruise services on inland waterways on March 29, 2019 under the SOP.